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Telstra network speeds boosted after working with TPG Telecom in Australian first

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Telstra and TPG Telecom have worked together in an Australian first to offer mobile customers a better experience and faster speeds by restacking network spectrum holdings.

Telstra customers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Perth will see their speeds improve by up to 20 per cent after Telstra and TPG defragmented and re-stacked their respective 1800Mhz and 2100Mhz spectrum bands.

Spectrum stacking is the process of defragmenting and shifting separate spectrum blocks that are not beside each other to form a single contiguous holding.

In Telstra’s case it has separate 10Mhz spectrum blocks that have been rejoined to form singular 20Mhz blocks on six cities.

Telstra and TPG’s (formerly Vodafone) spectrum holdings in the 1800Mhz and 2100Mhz were fragmented after different spectrum allocations over the last decade.

It is the first time two mobile network operators in Australia have agreed to stack their respective spectrum holdings without a regulatory order.

Back in 2012, the 1800Mhz band was restacked by all operators at the direction of the ACMA spectrum licencing re-issue process.

Telstra Group Executive Networks and IT Nikos Katinakis says the project demonstrated that competitors could work together to optimise their spectrum holdings and deliver a better service for their customers.

“This is a win for Telstra customers who’ve seen an immediate improvement in Telstra 4G speeds in these locations and also shows telcos can work together to drive better network outcomes,” Katinakis said.

“Larger spectrum blocks are more efficient and mean we can deliver faster mobile network speeds to our customers.

“Thanks to this project, we have seen average 4G speeds improve in every city where the restack was done by at least 10 per cent and in Canberra and Darwin by 20 per cent.”

“We can also carry more traffic on larger spectrum blocks.  For example, in Canberra our re-stacked 1800MHz spectrum is carrying approximately 14 per cent more traffic.

“This means better speeds and better capacity for our customers in these areas, even at busier times on our network.

“We also want to thank the ACMA for their support throughout this process, endorsing the technical mechanism for the restack as well as varying our respective spectrum licenses to reflect the new arrangements.”