World-breaking speed records for Telstra

By Merri Mack
Thursday, 19 February, 2009

With Duncan Armstrong as master of ceremonies and Telstra ambassadors Grant Hackett, Libby Trickett, Eamon Sullivan and Matt Cowley in attendance, the scene was set for the announcement by CEO Sol Trujillo from Barcelona by a video link that Telstra now had the world's fastest mobile broadband service that is four times faster than anything else available in Australia.

Trujillo was joined by partners Ericsson, Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless to jointly announce that the 21 Mbps peak rated mobile broadband modem, Telstra Turbo 21, available to customers on Telstra's supercharged HSPA+ network, the Next G network, will increase peak network speeds to 42 Mbps later this year.

Trujillo said for the first time a mobile network would bring a true real-time broadband experience to customers, providing significant benefits in health care, education and business productivity, in addition to an enhanced consumer entertainment experience.

"In just over two years, we have taken our world-leading network from peak network speeds of 3.6 Mbps to 21 Mbps and today we are launching the world's first commercial 21 Mbps peak-rated modem — more than three times faster than devices currently in the market," Trujillo said.

"Using the new 21 Mbps rated devices, a high quality X-ray image can be downloaded by a doctor in about 15 seconds — the potential cost and time savings across the health care industry are extraordinary. A consumer can access and download an mp3 song in just four seconds or a YouTube video in just six seconds. Some of our business customers are already seeing productivity uplifts of up to 30% in parts of their workforces from the Next G network by cutting travel costs and saving time.

According to a recent report by Concept Economics, the Next G Productivity Impacts study, industries such as passenger transport, real estate, construction, finance, trade, education and health in particular benefit from high-speed mobile broadband.

Representing Guinness World Records, Chris Sheedy said, "In my nine years working for the company, this is the first world record that I can say positively has the potential to change the lives of every single person in the country."

Telstra Networks and Services Group Managing Director Michael Rocca said, "Telstra has been able to achieve these speeds because it has made the investment in spectrum coverage and backhaul which the other local carriers have not made."

This begs the question as to what the NBN, when and if implemented, will be able to achieve when Telstra is steaming ahead with these speeds which Optus's Managing Director of Products and Delivery, Andrew Buay, has questioned. Telstra did demonstrate download speeds of 17 Mbps on the day of the announcement this week.

In a separate announcement out of Barcleona, Telstra announced the exclusive Telstra inferface for Windows Mobile phones which was developed in Australia for Aussie customers. The interface will give customers one-click access to the applications and services they regularly use on the home screen of their Windows Mobile phone via a set of touch-enabled menus and scrolling applets. The interface also provides one-touch access to USB data modem capability, which enables customers to connect to their PC and use the phone as a modem to access the internet via the Telstra Next G network.

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