Telstra launched their NEXT G network in Australia last Friday, enabling voice, video calls as well as mobile broadband services across Australia. One billion AUSD were invested to roll out a 3G 850MHz network in less than a year record time. This is 100x bigger geographically than any other 3G network in Australia, covering 98% of the population. It supports HSDPA, which is 50x faster than dial up and 5x faster than other 3G networks, with throughput of 550kbps to 1.5Mbps, peaking at 3.6Mbps. According to Telstra, it will increase max speed to 14.4Mbps next year and up to 40Mbps by 2009.
Teltra's NEXT G network offers 12 channels of FOXTEL, access to Telstra's BigPondMobile Service, music download to both mobile device and computer in 1
click, and locate me technology which matches location with info requests.
It has the best international roaming footprint, allowing voice roaming in 140
countries and 3G data roaming in 30 countries. Telstra plan to roll out 30
devices in the next 18 months, with 4 mobile phones, 1 PDA (i-mate JasJam) and 1 data card (GT max) available immediately. All of these activities are also setting the stage for the phase out of their CDMA network in 2008.
Took a quick look at the Telstra site, neither the phone nor the NEXT G plan comes cheap. The i-mate JasJam is $1299 AUSD without voice/data plan. Choosing zero upfront cost for the PDA will require you to spend at least $150 AUSD per month for 24 months. Every voice, video and data transmission cost money and there is no unlimited data plan available. I sure hope the cost of HSDPA or 3G network access will continue to come down. Otherwise, how can we expect working class people like us to be able to afford such dream speed?