Currently, 4G networks in Australia run on FD-LTE, which uses two separate frequency channels, one for data travelling in each direction. Optus announced this morning they are implementing 4G Plus which uses TD-LTE, where the upload and download of data happens on the same frequency, but at different times.
To use 4G Plus, you’ll need a compatible handset, currently there’s only one on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. The new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be available from September 20 and will both support the necessary bands for 4G Plus. The LG G2 will be also be out in November, but your getting the idea here, the rollout of supported devices will be slow.
4G Plus will be available from today in areas of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney after the successful pilot in Canberra. Optus’ new 4G Plus network operates on the 2300 MHz spectrum band while Optus 4G currently runs off the 1800 MHz spectrum band.
David Epstein, Vice President Regulatory and Corporate Affairs at Optus says “That typically means a smoother ride with a better mobile internet experience, both on 4G Plus and in the other lanes too. More lanes on the highway can help ease congestion for data hungry consumers”.
Let’s be clear, this announcement doesn’t add speed, just capacity to the Optus Network. While this is badly needed, it could have been done under the existing 4G label, without confusing consumers with the 4G+ label.
I guess 4G Plus is so awesome the guy in the chair above didn’t have time to look up for the photo.