Optus launches dual TD/FDD-LTE handsets:
Samsung Galaxy S4 + mini



blog It’s been a couple of months since Optus launched its new 4G network in Canberra — you know, the one which doesn’t use the normal 1800MHz frequency 4G network rolled out by the telco (as well as Telstra and Vodafone) around Australia, but instead uses the 2300Mhz frequency and the TD-LTE standard. However, up until now the SingTel subsidiary hasn’t had any real news in terms of handset availability on the network. That’s all set to change from September, however, with the telco revealing today that it will sell dual-mode 4G handsets from Samsung to support the infrastructure. And the news gets even better — these aren’t low-grade models, but the flagship Galaxy S4 unit and the GS4 mini which hasn’t yet launched locally. An Optus media release tells us:

Optus welcomes Samsung’s exciting announcement of the world’s first dual mode LTE commercial devices capable of seamless TDD-LTE (Time Division Duplex) and FDD-LTE (Frequency Division Duplex) handover. Samsung conducted testing of the dual band TDD/FDD-LTE versions of the GALAXY S4 mini and GALAXY S4 handsets on the Optus network in Australia.

“Optus is pleased to partner with Samsung on this world-first with the rollout of our new superfast 4G TDD- LTE network* in Australia. These new smartphones will open up access to significantly more 4G capacity, allowing Optus customers to do more on their phone in more places,” said Rohan Ganeson, Managing Director Sales, Optus.

Optus’ development of new mobile sites, as well as upgrades to existing sites across metro locations will consist of combined TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE technologies, so customers with dual mode 4G devices can access Optus’ superfast 4G network in more places.

“Optus has been a world leader in pioneering an integrated multi-band 4G network, including TDD-LTE technology, so that our customers enjoy more choice and a better 4G experience. We are proud to be the first telecommunications carrier in the world to support Samsung’s devices with seamless TDD/FDD-LTE handover technology on our network, giving quicker access to leading technology for those who choose Optus,” Mr Ganeson said.

The Samsung dual mode GALAXY S4 is scheduled to be available on the Optus network from September, with Samsung GALAXY S4 mini commercial availability to be announced shortly. Optus TDD-LTE network is currently available in Canberra and will be progressively rolled out across Australian metropolitan centres over the next year.

From your writer’s point of view, this information is great news. Normally, when new mobile network standards become used in Australia (for example, when Telstra adopted the 850MHz frequency for Next G, or when Telstra and Optus launched their 4G networks with 1800Mhz), it takes a while for supported handsets to make their way into the market. Samsung’s quick move to make sure its GS4 models work on both sets of Optus infrastructure is a great move by the telco which will ensure Optus customers get the best of all 4G worlds. Niiiice.

Image credit: Samsung


  1. Genuinely surprised at the agility demonstrated to get devices to market this quickly – Optus must have been in discussions with Samsung for some time to achieve this. As the most vertically integrated handset maker in the world, Samsung were the right choice for this.

    I’m extremely interested to know if they’ve spun out a new custom chip with support for these bands built into the core hardware, or if they’ve used an add on module to add the functionality. If the latter, there are battery life implications that need to be compared with the original handset to determine the usability impact of supporting the extra band.

  2. In the trials of TD LTE there were reports of really bad interference with TV and radio, similar to what we saw with the first GSM phones.
    I understand that is why most carriers elected to go with FDD instead.
    The other issue is a return to potential heath risks that Time Division brings – with very high PEAK power outputs.
    I believe the peak power of the pulses can be as much as 10W – not what I want next to my brain!

  3. 4G is a data only network with Optus, its all IP backhaul. so when a call drops in it switches from 4G to 3G.
    Optus will not be offering calls over 4G unless its over VOIP. (Which i dont think they want to do)

    so the radiation next to your brain is not something i would be worried about.

    • That’s interesting. How does that compare to Telstra’s implementation? There have been reports that Telstra are dismantling 3g infrastructure to make room for 4g on their towers, resulting in decreased 3g service performance. That suggests 4g on Telstra is an ‘all or nothing’ long term strategy, with quite severe implications for those who weren’t intending to upgrade to 4g handsets and services.

      The removal of 3g plans on the Optus network (including the discontinuation of plans from resellers) suggests that Optus are following a similar strategy switching towers from 3g to 4g, but if phone calls will always be delivered over 3g then at least Optus customers can be assured of similar coverage as they have currently, even if contention increases with a reduction of 3g capacity to make room for 4g equipment (in the event that Optus are following a similar strategy to Telstra).

  4. Telstra have two 3G Networks. 3G 850MHZ (Branded ‘NextG’) and 3G 2100MHZ.
    its the 3G 2100 MHZ and 2G networks Telstra are selling to MVNO’s I.E Kogan and Telechoice. Telstra are not selling NextG or 4G to MVNO’s and Optus are only selling 3G and 2G services to MVNO’s I.E TPG, DODO and Amaysim,

    so if Telstra are ripping out their 3G antennas to put 4G ones in, that’s very interesting

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