Telstra launches world's first 21Mbps service

Telstra is to offer the world's first 21Mbps mobile service and announced it intends to double the network's speed later this year.

Jointly developed by Telstra, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless, the Telstra Turbo 21 modem service is targeted at business customers, starting next Monday. A consumer offering will follow in April, the company announced at this year's Mobile World Congress.

The new data card services capitalizes on last year's Next G Network upgrade to HSPA+, with a further upgrade to peak speeds of 42Mbps by the end of the year, Telstra said.

Mobile broadband would boost productivity and could increase Australia's GDP by as much as 0.7% this year, Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo said.

"Some of our business customers are already seeing productivity uplifts of up to 30 per cent in parts of their workforces from the Next Gâ„¢ network by cutting travel costs and saving time," he said.

With the new service, a doctor could download a high quality x-ray in 15 seconds and a consumer could access and download an MP3 track in four seconds.

According to Telstra, 3G penetration in Australia grew 19 percentage points to 54% last year. ARPU for 3G customers is more than A$20 ($13.20) higher than for 2G customers.

Sierra Wireless CEO Jason Cohenour said the company had accelerated the development of HSPA+ products solely to support Telstra's network rollout.

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