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Hello 4G: Vodafone Make LTE Call

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 20/02/2013

Telco reveals it is testing 4G services in Bronte, Randwick.

The telco says it has been conducting the first round of 'calls' for testing data speeds and MMS services, over the past few months.

"To run these tests, we've powered up Vodafone's 4G technology in Alexandria, Bronte and Randwick with 10MHz bandwidth - we'll be operating our 4G network in Sydney on 20MHz of bandwidth when we launch," says Allen Didovich, vodafone 4G Program Manager, on a blog.

Vodafone expects its LTE service to be up and running in the first half of this year, and says it will run on 20Mhz bandwidth, compared to a mix of 10Mhz/15Mhz for Telstra and 15Mhz used by Optus.

The fact Vodafone has more bandwidth on 1800 Mhz spectrum than its rivals could mean faster speeds, potentially.

The telco's 4G boss said the tests "for voice, mms and sms went off without a hitch."

At launch, in 4G areas with a category 3 device (like iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 820) Vodafone are promising typical download speeds of 2Mbps-40Mbps. Vodafone expect category 4 devices to be available soon after.

"For our speed tests, we used speedtest.net app, where we recorded super fast download test speeds ranging between 60Mbps to 67Mbps and upload test in the 25-30Mbps range," says Didovich.

On these speeds, a user could potentially download a 10-song album of music in 10 seconds - around 10-15 times quicker than on our 3G network.

But its early days, admits Didovich, as Voda trails behind rival Telstra who today announced a slew of new 4G technologies including LTE-Advanced, while Optus is also busy expanding its LTE services, in the race for the mobile user.

Telstra has had its 4G LTE network in place for over 18 months.

Vodafone, who will be hoping its 4G service will lure users back to the network, after 64,000 customers left its network during October- December 31 last.

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