Optus today announced that it has been able to achieve download speeds of up to 520Mbps during carrier aggregation tests on its TD-LTE network.

While most Australian 4G networks run on the 1800Mhz spectrum band using FD-LTE technology, which has two separate frequency channels for uploads and downloads, Optus' TD-LTE network uses the same frequency (2300MHz spectrum band) for uploads and downloads, though at separate times.

Carried out in Western Sydney in partnership with its 4G network vendor Huawei, Optus' test combined four 20MHz channels of the 2300MHz spectrum band into 80MHz and allowed the telco to achieve a peak 520Mbps download speed.

Carriers aggregate

The telco also conducted LTE-Advanced tests in Melbourne earlier in December, combining two sets of 20MHz channels on the 2300MHz spectrum band, which achieved a single user peak speed of over 160Mbps on its 4G Plus network.

"This is the first time in the world that 4G carrier aggregation has been introduced into a live TD-LTE network; not in a lab, but on a fully operational, commercial network," said Vic McClelland, Managing Director of Optus Networks.

Optus expects compatible LTE-A Category 6 devices to enter the market by early 2014. Huawei is expected to launch compatible devices next year as well.

"This is about ensuring that Optus continues to build a mobile network that keeps pace with the ongoing evolution of 4G devices," McClelland said.

Telstra has also been trailing LTE-Advanced on its FD-LTE network, which combines the 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum and is capable of near 300Mbps speeds.