Australia's largest telco was the first to jump on the LTE train, launching its first services in October 2011.

Initially only available to customers who purchased 4G dongles on 24 month contracts, the network immediately impressed pundits across the country for its speed.

The Telstra LTE network uses the 1800MHz spectrum. Previously, this network was used to transmit 2G services, but with the rise of 3G-enabled devices, demand for 2G dropped enough that Telstra was able to repurpose the network for 4G.

That said, earlier this year Telstra announced it would expand its LTE network using the 900MHz frequency for greater regional coverage.

Telstra claims its LTE network delivers download speeds between 2Mbps and 40Mbps, while upload speeds between 1Mbps and 10Mbps. In the real world, those lofty numbers will elude you, although we've regularly experienced speeds upwards of 20Mbps.

In Perth, where Telstra has access to a bit more spectrum, Telstra plans on rolling out 20MHz services that promise even faster speeds later in 2013.

Perhaps the most surprising part of Telstra's 4G rollout is the fact that it doesn't charge any extra for the service. If you have a 4G-enabled device that supports the 1800MHz spectrum for LTE, you will automatically connect when you hit the coverage area.

Speaking of coverage, Telstra makes a big deal out of the fact its LTE network already hits 40 per cent of the population. Having covered 66 per cent mark by mid-2013, it has also announced plans to expand that to about 85 per cent by Christmas.

Telstra will also have Australia's first Category 4 (Cat 4) LTE device available from the end of July. Currently, Telstra has Cat 4 LTE networks in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, with plans to expand it to the rest of Australia. Also known as LTE-Advanced, Cat 4 LTE can theoretically push download speed up to 150Mbps.

That said, Telstra isn't looking to retire NextG just yet, the the HSPA+ network still delivering high speed services to 99 per cent of the population.

Getting connected

Telstra 4g dongle

Telstra offers a couple of dongle options for connecting PCs and wireless devices to its 4G network. There's a USB dongle, and a wireless dongle, which takes the LTE signal and converts it to a wireless hotspot for multiple devices to connect to.

Telstra also offers a collection of 4G-nabled handsets to purchase on a contract or outright. In addition to the much-publicised iPhone 5, Telstra also sells a 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, BlackBerry Z10, Nokia Lumia 920 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Telstra has announced that it has already got over 1.5 million LTE-enabled devices connected to its network. That number is set to grow as more and more 4G networks hit Australia over the coming 12 months.