Optus feels the need for 4.5G speed, takes a Huawei to the danger-zone

1.23 Gbps downloads on offer

The best Australian 4G networks have all invested pretty heavily in delivering the best possible speeds for customers, but the race to 5G is starting to heat up.

While 5G is expected to arrive by 2020, Optus and Huawei have just announced a successful trial of LTE-Advanced Pro, or 4.5G, at its Gigasite in Newcastle.

By using a combination of technologies, the telco was able to achieve a peak download speed of 1.23Gbps in live network conditions. The theoretical top speed of the technology is 1.43Gbps.

Superspeed

There's no firm date for when customers will be able to enjoy the kinds of speeds that Optus has achieved during this trial, but Optus has told us it is aiming to launch 4.5G in the second half of the year as devices become available.

Last year, Telstra conducted a similar trial, achieving speeds beyond 1Gbps with the use of carrier aggregation.

The technologies used to achieve the speeds here – which include 100MHz (5 x 20MHz) Carrier Aggregation, Higher Level Modulation, and 4X4 MIMO – should all translate to the eventual rollout of 5G.

It should also enable 2K video streaming, which could potentially be useful for Optus' content plans around sports like the EPL.

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Editor (Australia)

Nick (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Australian editor, covering all the latest news and reviews from the Great Southern Land. Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.