Telstra revealed today that it would launch five new 4G smartphones by the end of the calendar year, and that a majority of the new phones offered next year will also use the next-generation data service.
Telstra's executive director for Mobile Products, Warwick Bray, passed on the information during a press briefing today, saying that the new phones would join the nine existing 4G devices in the Telstra range.
"We've now reached 500,000 subscribers on 4G, of which 160,000 are on 4G smartphones," said Bray.
This number will increase significantly next year, with the telco anticipating 4G technology in two-thirds of all post-paid handsets sold on its network. Bray, however, wouldn't be drawn on questions asking for specific device details, including whether or not one of these devices will be an unannounced iPhone model from Apple.
To accommodate the swell of new devices, Telstra is building out its 4G coverage, with plans to double the technology's footprint in the country's capital cities, with high profile upgrades at Sydney's Bondi Beach and on the city's North Shore train line. This will be achieved with the addition of over 1,000 new LTE base stations across the country, and the telco is hoping to reach 66 per cent of the Australian population with 4G service by the conclusion of this expansion.
"Not only are we going to expand and double the footprint in the cities by the middle of next year, but we will increasingly be expanding the network wherever the highest demand is, so the footprint will naturally grow", said Mike Wright, Telstra's executive director of Networks & Access Technologies.
Telstra is also building out its dual-channel HSPA+ service, with an aim of covering 80 per cent of the population. Dual-channel service theoretically doubles a standard HSPA service, with a maximum download speed of 42Mbps — though, real world speeds will be significantly lower.