Virgin Mobile joins Optus in launching 4G coverage

Macworld Australia Staff
5 September, 2012
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Optus switched on its 4G network for metropolitan Sydney, Perth and Newcastle customers yesterday, with Melbourne users set to receive the service from September 15.

On the back of Optus’ announcement, Virgin Mobile has also informed customers that its network will now offer 4G service in the same coverage areas.

Optus and Virgin Mobile customers can now pre-order a Samsung Galaxy SIII 4G smartphone or purchase a USB dongle to receive download speeds of 1Mbps to 35Mbps in connected areas – up to 10 times faster than 3G.

Optus uses the 1800MHz band to deliver its 4G LTE service, which means that current iPad users won’t be able to take advantage of this service as Apple’s tablet uses the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands. It is unknown what 4G/LTE antenna will be featured in the iPhone 5 rumoured to launch on September 12.

“Optus is launching 4G services with significant coverage across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Newcastle and this marks the beginning of Optus’ national 4G network rollout,” Optus’ Consumer Australia CEO Kevin Russell said in a statement.

“We’re excited about the new opportunities that 4G will provide for Optus customers. Whether that’s downloading multiple songs at the same time, or uploading videos and photos to social media – customers will love the experience and speed that Optus 4G has to offer,” Russell said.

Virgin Mobile Marketing Director, David Scribner announced its new coverage in a press release today.

“We are thrilled to today announce that we are 4G ready; it is an extremely exciting time within the Telco industry and it changes the landscape as we know it. We know our customers use their phones more than ever for data and this launch will provide our customers with faster downloads and seriously quick mobile internet. As a pacesetter in the market, Virgin Mobile continues to offer great valued products and we are proud our customers are the most satisfied of all network providers. The launch of 4G is another step in delivering on our commitment to a fair go for all.”

Australia’s biggest telecommunication provider, Telstra, launched its 4G network almost 12 months ago, and has since announced it will increase its 4G coverage to 66 percent of its network.

According to Optus the coverage areas are:

  • Sydney: Optus 4G coverage stretches from Bondi in the east to Newington in the west and from La Perouse in the south to Dee Why in the north.
  • Perth: Optus 4G coverage stretches from Perth Airport in the east to City Beach in the west and from Como in the south to Innaloo in the north.
  • Newcastle: Optus 4G coverage is available across Newcastle, as well as in Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie areas.
  • Melbourne: From September 15, Optus 4G coverage in Melbourne will stretch from Blackburn in the east to St Albans in the west and from Brighton in the south to Fawkner in the north.
Maps below.






3 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. AussieMacUser says:

    It would be great if MacWorld could let its readers know why Optus and Telstra are using certain frequencies for 4G, and Apple has decided on different frequencies. One of the great things about 3G is that Australia – and most other parts of the world – are running GSM. It’s hard enough when American networks are not compatible – I would hate to think that Australia could become a backwater if the rest of the world uses the Apple frequencies for 4G.

  2. Paul says:

    Apple doesn’t control what frequencies are used for 3G or 4G mobile networks. The FCC in the US and the ACMA in Australia controls this. We can not use the same frequency (700MHz) as the US does for 4G because that band is not available here until (almost) the end of 2013.

    It would be nice is Apple’s new iPhone would work on our 4G networks here but that would mean have a 1800MHz LTE radio in the phones radio chipset.

  3. Matt J says:

    In reply to AussieMacUser; the US telephone market uses different 4G frequencies which differ to Australia. Hence the iPhone made for the US market and not Australasian and Euro markets… We just have to wait til the US catches up… or the iPhone 5! =)

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