Telecom has gone live with carrier aggregation, a technology that allows mobile users to tap into two spectrum bands simultaneously for increased data speeds, on six of its 4G mobile sites in central Auckland today.
While there are no devices currently available that can take advantage of carrier aggregation, Telecom states that it expects to have such devices available on its network by end of 2014 or early next year.
“Carrier aggregation on our network allows for theoretical peak speeds of 300Mbps, and our testing has seen speeds on live sites of up to 260Mbps download. This is roughly double the theoretical peak speeds on our existing 4G network, and more than seven times the theoretical peaks available on 3G,” said David Havercroft, COO at Telecom.
Havercroft agreed that “when we have multiple users on the network in the real world, these speeds will come down,” but added that the increased speeds will still make a difference to how people use their mobiles, tablets and any other carrier aggregation-capable smart devices.
Telecom worked with technology partner Huawei to enable the carrier aggregation.
Telecom launched its 4G network in November 2013 in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. It is extending 4G capability to a other New Zealand towns over the next few months, including Dunedin, Rotorua, Blenheim and Nelson.
The company is also about to begin a non-commercial customer 4G trial in the Waikato using the 700MHz spectrum, which the government is currently auctioning off for use in mobile services.