The future for Australian mobile subscribers appears to be one built with 4G networks, as Telstra talks up an extended roll-out of fourth-generation mobile technologies, effectively doubling the coverage in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

With 4G connections now passing the half million mark in Australia, Telstra is celebrating by improving the reception and bringing 4G LTE connections to more places in Australia, starting today with new sites running in Bondi and the North Shore in New South Wales.

“Our 160,000 4G smartphone customers are already telling us that 4G is improving their mobile experience, with research showing they’re more likely to reach for their device over their PC to search the web, social network and bank online — compared with 3G smartphone owners,” said Telstra’s Chief Operations Officer, Brendon Riley.

“Our network expansion kicks off in Sydney today where we’re introducing some of the world’s fastest mobile internet speeds to customers visiting iconic Bondi Beach and to underground rail passengers travelling on the North Shore line between Central and North Sydney stations, helping our customers stay connected and entertained on their commute.”

While Telstra opens up new high-speed 4G sites in Sydney’s east and north today, the company has said that the expansion will include more 1,000 new 4G base stations installed by mid-2013, with the overall effect bringing the LTE service to roughly two-thirds of Australia’s population.

That’s good news for customers keen to take advantage of the new technology, with more 4G devices expected to arrive this year, possibly in the new Apple iPhone 5 and upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

“Once the network expansion is complete Telstra 4G will cover even more of Australia’s highest population centres,” said Mr. Riley. “For instance, coverage will stretch out in a 10-15 kilometre radius from the Sydney GPO and a 15-20 kilometre radius from the Melbourne GPO.”

With an increased distance, customers taking advantage of the Telstra 4G connection should be able to achieve speeds in excess of 20Mbps, improving their download speed, entertainment streaming, and mobile performance altogether, on tablets, smartphones, and computers designed to take advantage of the high speed network.