Telstra will show off 2Gps 4G at MWC 2018

Alex Kidman 15 February 2018

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The future may be 5G, but there's still plenty of speed left in 4G.

Much of the talk around the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2018 has been around the emergence of 5G technologies, but if you're thinking that this spells the death knell for 4G, think again.

Telstra has announced that it's hit peak lab speeds of up to 2 Gigabits per second (Gbps) using Qualcomm's latest category 20 compatible modem, the Snapdragon X24.

Specifically, it was inside a NETGEAR Nighthawk mobile router, albeit an upgrade on the existing 1Gbps-capable Nighthawk M1 mobile router that Telstra already sells for usage on its 4GX mobile network in Australia.

Sounds great! When can I get 2Gbps 4G in Australia?

Telstra has indicated that, in partnership with Qualcomm, NETGEAR and Ericsson, it will demonstrate the capabilities of 2Gbps 4G at MWC 2018, but there's no announced timeframe for the rollout of such capabilities just yet.

Telstra's due to hold a media launch in Barcelona at MWC 2018 where it may detail its plans around the technology, but the practical reality of how it's hit 2Gbps in the lab means that it's not likely to roll it out nationwide all that rapidly.

While that 2Gbps is a peak speed reading in lab conditions, real world conditions are likely to be lower. It also relies on having five 20Mhz bands available to pair together to access that kind of speed, as well as compatible hardware.

While Qualcomm has announced the X24 modem generally, as yet there aren't any phones in Australia that utilise that modem, and the existing Nighthawk router that Telstra already sells is only category 16 capable. We may see the first X24 devices announced at MWC 2018, but it could be some time before consumers are actually able to use their capabilities on Telstra's network.

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