Telstra and TPG just defragged the airwaves to make your 4G faster
Without being forced to, Telstra and TPG just restacked their wireless spectrum allocations to make things smoother for users in many cities.
In 2012, the ACMA got all the wireless network operators together and made them restack their spectrum allocations for smoother operations. At the time it was all tied up in the process of reissuing licenses to operate networks, with the knowledge that more auctions were in the future as more spectrum was opened up for the future of 4G and 5G networks.
It's one thing when companies do it because they're forced to. It's another when they actually talk to each other and say "Hey, maybe instead of me owning 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10 and you owning 2, 4, 6, 7, and 9, we could reorganising our stuff so you own 1-5 and we own 6-10?"
Telstra and TPG announced this week they did just that, defragmenting their holdings after the various auctions in 2017 and 2018 across the 1800MHz and 2100MHz spectrum bands, resulting in claimed speed boosts of around 10-20 percent.
Best of all, this is an improvement that focused on a lot of our more neglected state capitals, with the restacking taking place in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Perth.
It's not quite as clean cut as my wildly simplified example above, but the key trick was getting blocks together into more 20MHz chunks where some where 10MHz. Slices like that are where the big efficiency win lies, apparently.
Good job, Telstra. Good job, TPG.