At the Australian launch of its Next G network upgrade today, chief executive Sol Trujillo said the telco would not stop at 21Mbps but would double the peak capacity on undisclosed parts of the network later this year.
"While competitors are rolling out networks at 14.4Mbps, we're at 21Mbps today and ‘tomorrow' we'll be at 42Mbps, so you ain't seen nothing yet," Trujillo said. "We're not stopping."
It appears this commitment will also cover the HSPA evolution outlined by Ericsson on Friday, which could push future peak speeds to 168Mbps.
In an interview with iTnews, group managing director for Telstra enterprise and government, David Thodey, said Telstra would be "right there with [Ericsson]" as they continued to evolve HSPA technology.
But he acknowledged back-end upgrades would be needed to push speeds beyond a certain level.
Thodey was unable to confirm at what point in the HSPA evolution these further backhaul upgrades would be necessary.
He said Telstra had laid "quite a bit" of extra fibre capacity as part of a recent round of backhaul upgrades that could be "turned up" if required.
"Ultimately [though] we've got to go Ethernet backhaul for every base station so we'll have to upgrade everything over time, but it depends on demand," Thodey said.
"It's got to be a commercial decision."
On the 21Mbps front, Thodey said the 21Mbps Next G network covered all capitals, metropolitan and "selected" regional areas. Although the entire Next G network has had the 21 Mbps peak network speed technology installed, the new speeds would be turned on progressively in the remaining areas, he said.
The first USB mobile cards were created by Sierra Wireless but iTnews understands modems from ZTE and Netcomm are among the devices still in development.
"We'd be delighted if there was a local modem manufacturer but the challenge will be for them to get the price point right," Thodey said.
"They'd have to look at [servicing] the world market to keep the costs down."
Having completed optimisation of the Sierra modem with the network, which has been operating since December, Telstra has now embarked on a process of optimising Next G with its core IP network and plans to apply that process to enterprise applications as well.
"I think application-aware networking is an important issue," Thodey said.
He earmarked Telstra's software-as-a-service store, T-Suite, as an area that is also ripe for optimisation.
"We're continuing to optimise the performance of T-Suite but there will be more considerations there depending on what PC the end user has," Thodey said.