5G hype is fine but not everyone has a 5G phone or access to 5G networks in their area. In a bid to improve those customers’ experience on the older 4G networks Telstra and partnered with TPG Telecom to re-stack their mobile network spectrum holdings.

Together, Telstra and TPG defragmented and re-stacked their respective 1800MHz and 2100MHz spectrum bands in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Perth resulting in an overall 4G speed increase of 10 to 20% on both Telstra and Vodafone.

This is the first restacking since 2012 and was required due to the fragmentation in the spectrum caused by different spectrum allocations over the past ten years. The process involved is like a PC defrag — the spectrum blocks are defragmented and shifted to create a continuous spectrum holding. Telstra was able to join separate 10MHz blocks into single 20MHz blocks in the above cities.

Telstra Group Executive Networks & IT Nikos 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% and in Canberra and Darwin by 20%.

“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.”

TPG Telecom Executive General Manager Mobile and Fixed Networks Barry Kezik said customers in these cities have experienced an immediate improvement in their mobile data speeds as a result of the restack.

Since the spectrum restack, we have observed a 10 to 20 percent improvement in mobile data speeds, and traffic has increased significantly as customers take advantage of these faster speeds,” Mr Kezik said.

We are continually looking at ways we can improve the customer experience across our mobile network. Ultimately, this is an example of two major telecommunications operators constructively working together to give customers improved services.

If you are in one of these cities and rely on Telstra or Vodafone’s 4G network you will certainly appreciate the new speeds and capacities from the re-stacking. It is unclear they haven’t done the same in Melbourne and Sydney.

It’s great to see companies continuing to improve their 4G networks even though 5G is the fashionable ticket item.