Telstra and mobile equipment maker Ericsson have claimed a world-first 200km cell phone range in the carrier's Next G HSDPA network.
The announcement was made at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona by Ericsson president and CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg.
Ericsson's Extended Range software has been installed and activated in selected mountaintop sites across Australia, four months after the launch of Telstra's Next G network, to support all of the 3G services.
Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo said the company had displayed global leadership when it built the "turbocharged" Next G network in 10 months, and since launching Next G with HSDPA Telstra has doubled the volume of total data traffic carried on all of its wireless networks.
The Ericsson solution enables coverage up to 200km from a base station, a step up from the 50km range typically supported today, according to the company.
The software upgrade means the Next G network data capacity has now been tripled and network speeds vary from up to 1.9Mbps for uploads and 14.4Mbps for downloads.
Telstra claims downlink speeds of 2.3Mbps at a 200km range have been achieved during testing.
The Next G network is also testing 7.2Mbps data cards slated for launch in mid-2007.