Telstra has brought the world's first 600Mbps-capable device to Australia, in a show of muscle for its mobile network.
The Telstra WiFi 4GX Advanced III Mobile Broadband Hotspot, manufactured in partnership with Netgear, Ericsson and Qualcomm, is the world's first 4G LTE Advanced Category 11 device. The telco said that the improvements in its mobile network to support Cat 11 gear is "really designed to boost network capacity".
"Speed is all about the overall network, not just an individual user," Telstra networks general managing director Mike Wright told a briefing today in Sydney.
At the press event, Telstra staff performed a live demonstration showing actual download speeds going up to 503Mbps. In a video, a speed of over 440Mbps was recorded outdoors in the western Sydney suburb of Harris Park.
"The early Cat 11 enabled footprint is concentrated on the CBDs of eastern seaboard capital cities, initially Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, and in selected popular holiday locations," announced Telstra. "The network reach supporting these Cat 11 speeds will also continue to expand in line with growing mobile data demand."
The new 4GX hotspot device connects up to 15 wi-fi-enabled devices simultaneously, according to the telco, and boasts 11 hours of continuous use on a full charge of its battery.
The access point will be available in stores from 29 September for $264.
Small cells: giving rural areas 4G coverage
Wright also told journalists that "small cell" technology - conventionally used to boost mobile reception in dense urban areas - has been adapted by Telstra to provide 4G coverage in small rural communities where conventional mobile infrastructure is not economically viable.
"It creates a 'bubble' of 4G coverage of just a few hundred metres for rural communities that can't have a full mobile tower."
The telco announced that more than 40 small cells have now been deployed, with plans to have 750 rolled out by June 2017.
Update: This story was updated to show Telstra's late announcement of the product release date and price.