Telstra will soon be able to deliver 2Gbps over 4G on selected mobile broadband networks.

Of course, you will need the right device with a Qualcomm X24 LTE Cat 20 modem. You may even need to be standing under the Telco’s tower. But it represents a major step forward using existing network infrastructure. No need to wait for the expensive 5G rollout.

Telstra, Ericsson, NETGEAR and Qualcomm achieved the 2Gbps over 4G results by aggregating 100MHz of spectrum.

Technically this is

  • 5×20 MHz LTE carriers
  • across three different Telstra frequency bands
  • with each carrier using 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM technologies.

This is part of the yet to be released NETGEAR Nighthawk Mobile Router. The existing Nighthawk M1 can achieve 1Gbps download and 150Mbps upload.

Telstra is planning to deploy the 2 Gbps over 4G technology soon (late 2018). It will target high traffic areas like CBDs, stadiums and shopping centres. This will support even greater capacity, and faster mobile speeds for our customers as the demand for data continues to grow.

The technology was demonstated at Mobile World Congress. It followed the 5 February launch of its Gold Coast 5G Innovation Centre, that has plans to deploy more than 1,000 small cells to enhance 4G capacity in metro areas.

Mike Wright, Group Managing Director Networks said, “The beauty of having a 2Gbps over 4G layer means the transition between 5G and 4G is far less noticeable. It gives us a foundation so that the early 5G devices will feel like they’re on 5G even when they’re on 4G.”

Wright said the 2Gbps peak speeds are for the downlink from tower to device, and the company expects compatible handsets to follow soon, given the uptake of 1Gbps devices (like the Samsung Galaxy S9) last year.

GadgetGuy’s take – 2Gbps over 4G takes the pressure of 5G roll-outs not expected to start before 2019

2Gbps is 20 times faster than 100Mbps NBN. Sounds great but remember that NBN is essentially unlimited data and mobile broadband costs a few dollars per gigabyte. Put bluntly if you suck data at 2Gbps, then you will need a bank account to match.