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Australian Cellular bands a quick explanation

TX: March 26 2012 (Ep 377)

Mark Diggins is a regular guest on Tech Talk Radio and on the program that aired on March 26 2012, Mark gave us an insite into the confusion that is mobile phone frequency allocations here and abroard. Below are his show notes.

Cellular bands – a quick explanation
All care and no responsibility

Samsung 46Why you need to know

  • Travelling overseas
  • Porting between carriers
  • Buying grey imports

MTS – 007, 1981, Not cellular,  3 base stations, UHF (450MHz?)

FDD eg BTS TX 870-890, BTS RX 825-845 (45MHz separation)
TDD eg NBN has 54% DL, 40% UL and 6% GP

800MHz, Cellular, 850MHz
AMPS –  Advanced MPS, Analogue, 018, 1st G, 30KHz
Telstra CDMA, Orange network (CDMA), 2G, 1.23MHz
UMTS / WCDMA (Next G) / VHA??? , 3G, 5MHz
The other 800MHz band is not used in Aus. IDEN network in the US

900MHZ band
Telstra GSM 25MHZ, 0418, 2G
Optus and Voda arrive (8.3MHz each)
Optus and Voda now running UMTS, 3G

1800MHz band, DCS (Digital communications system)
1710 – 1880 used in Australia
GSM capacity layer
Now has Telstra LTE (4G) only 5 km from capital city and major rural towns

1900MHz band, PCS (Personal communications system)
1850 – 1990 used in the US

2100MHz Australia
DL 2110 – 2170
UL 1920 – 1980
3GIS 3 and Telstra alliance finishing in July


2100MHz AWS used in the US
DL 2100, UL 1700

2.3GHz band was Austar, Cellular TDD only
NBN, Vivid Wireless / Optus, Telstra

2.6GHz band
Has FDD with TDD in the middle
Likely cellular with ENG in the middle

3.5GHz band, NBN own
3.4 – 3.6GHz, FDD or TDD

Being used in the US for LTE (Verizon and soon AT&T)
Being trialled by Optus for LTE in Australia
Becomes available when switch over to Digital TV complete
Highly sought after for propagation characteristics

4G In Australia Right Now

There are only two networks offering 4G products in Australia at the moment (March 12) Telstra and Vividwireless.

Optus will be rolling out 4G services in the 1800MHz band from April 2012 to Newcastle, Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie areas. Optus 4G services will also be delivered to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth from mid-2012 with further expansion expected shortly after.

Despite spending billions, Vodafone appears to have little interest in LTE, with CEO Nigel Dews stating that “We’re less inclined to do the aggressive talking about LTE”.

Optus announced in February that it had entered a conditional agreement to buy Vividwireless's customers and network assets in a deal involving a cash consideration of $230 million. (But it won't be the customer base they're after - Ed.)

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