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Telstra officially brands 700MHz network as 4GX

The telco has expanded its 700MHz network -- now called 4GX -- to Hobart and Brisbane, with more regional areas coming online soon.

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Nic Healey/CNET

Telstra has decided upon an official brand name for its expanded 700MHz 4G offering: 4GX.

The new name was unveiled during the announcement that the service had been turned on in parts of Hobart and Brisbane. Ten new regional areas were also named, with the new spectrum band coming online this week: Albany, Ulladulla, Murray Bridge, Narrawallee, Shepparton, Bateman's Bay, Swansea, Bunbury, Port Macquarie and Chinchilla.

The lower-frequency 700MHz spectrum has better in-building coverage and is being promoted by Telstra as being able to reach greater distances, thus making it a better offering for regional and rural areas.

The 4GX brand will encompass the LTE-A carrier aggregation offering that combines both 700MHz and 1800MHz for compatible devices, such as the Galaxy Note 4.

Using a Note 4 supplied by Telstra at the launch in the Sydney CBD, we observed average download speeds of 80Mbps and peaks of 155Mbps. The speeds were quite variable, however, dropping as low as 3Mbps at times.

Telstra also demonstrated the first coast-to-coast Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call, with Telstra's Director of wireless engineering Channa Seneviratne calling a Perth-based colleague, both as a regular voice call and a video call.

Seneviratne did note, however, that there was no timing on the commercial rollout of VoLTE and said that it was unclear if the use of VoLTE might require a change in the structure of billing voice calls.

Telstra is anticipating that 4GX will be rolled out to all capital city CBD areas and 50 regional locations by January 1, 2015.

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Nic Healey/CNET