Original image credit: Flickr user Francisco Martins
The ACT is the third major metro area to receive early access to Optus’ 700MHz 4G spectrum, following Perth and Darwin earlier this year. Pegged for a full release in early 2015, the new low-frequency 4G network will mean better reception at range from compatible Optus towers, as well as improved 4G connectivity when indoors.
So far 20 sites have gone live in Canberra, with plans to expand that to a currently unspecified number in the near future.
Until now, the ACT has had to get by using only the high-frequency 2300MHz band for its 4G LTE Optus coverage. High frequencies have shorter range than low ones, and are less efficient at penetrating solid objects like buildings.
Optus hopes to cover 90% of the Australian population with 4G by the end of 2015. The aim is to deliver it to more than 200 regional and holiday destinations by April. Coupled with other network expansions, this could mean Optus hits its target in the earlier half of the year.
What does this mean for me?
If you live in Canberra then it means you should get better Optus 4G coverage around the 700MHz towers. Some areas that previously did not get 4G, or had poor 4G connections, may now or soon see improved wireless broadband service.
You should also notice some better 4G reception inside buildings, or when surrounded by tall structures.
Will my phone work with it?
Not all smartphones are 700MHz compatible. Generally, only newer models sold in 2014 will work.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, and the LG G3 are all compatible.
For a full list, check in Optus stores or online for phones with the ‘4G in more places’ icon.