Mid February Update

17 Feb 2018

Vodafone appears to be starting the year on a positive note with a further 12 new sites this fortnight and upgrades to 62 more. Upgrades consisted mostly of 4G900 which is their new NB-IOT (narrow band, Internet of things) network with Victoria being the focus receiving 50 of the upgrades. NSW received 5 new sites with sites being deployed in both metro and rural areas nationwide.

Optus again has proposed a 2nd 5G site, the OzTowers site has been upgraded to now list these 5G sites which you can find in the Statistics -> General -> 5G tab. Optus also managed 9 new sites which is way down on recent activity but also managed to upgrade 62 sites. The upgrades consisted mainly of 4G2100 but also included other bands where necessary, it seems Optus is finalizing their 4G network in preparation for 5G. I've noticed Optus has also proposed a bunch of sites along the A32 between Adelaide and Broken Hill, this is a major Optus blackspot so great to see Optus' commitment to rural areas, no activity yet however to the East of Broken Hill.

Telstra managed 13 new sites as well as upgrades to a further 26 sites. New sites were mostly rural and most likely linked to the governments blackspot rollout. Upgrades were mostly on the East Coast and consisted of both 4G700 and 4G2600 bands.

TPG added 2 more proposals to the north of Sydney.

NBN also added 19 new sites, mostly surrounding metro Melbourne and Adelaide, also no upgrades were reported.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has decreased by 9 sites. Optus is still ahead of Telstra in 4G700 by 901 sites.

Telstra Tower proposed for Valley's blackspot town

20 Feb 2018

GETTING calls on your mobile is about to get easier in Nymboida with a proposed Telstra tower.

The new site, at 3797 Armidale Road, is part of the Mobile Black Spot Program. The proposed facility will be a 30-metre-high monopole with six panel antennas and six tower mounted amplifiers mounted on a triangular head frame attached to the top of the monopole, ancillary works including caballing and the reuse of the existing Telstra SCAX shelter to accommodate equipment internally.

Telstra say a new tower at Nymboida was highlighted as a necessity by the Federal and State governments.

To continue reading the article: click here. (dailyexaminer.com.au)

New Mobile Coverage For 13 Communities In Rural Australia

20 Feb 2018

Finally, the mobile black spots in rural Australia are being sorted. Minister for Regional Communications, Senator Bridget McKenzie has announced that 13 new Mobile Black Spot Program mobile base stations will go live soon, providing mobile coverage to regional areas.

The new base stations were constructed across Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Tasmania.

The improved coverage is made possible through the Federal Government’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program, which is delivering much needed improved coverage across Australia.

“I’m committed to ensuring that those living in regional Australia have access to 21st century communication technology and the Mobile Black Spot Program is one way the Government is helping us to get there,” Minister McKenzie said.

“It’s fantastic to see that these communities are now receiving reliable mobile coverage. Our country is vast, and I understand that communities rely on technology to run their businesses, complete their education and connect with their friends and family.

To continue reading the article: click here. (womenlovetech.com)

NBN Co to invest in fixed wireless upgrade

19 Feb 2018

Preparing network to handle more 50Mbps users?

NBN Co has promised to invest in capacity upgrades for its fixed wireless network after coming under fire over its approach to dealing with congestion.

Executive general manager for access products Gavin Williams said in a blog post that the company had seen “a significant spike” in data usage as well as the number of concurrent users in cells in recent months.

“Due to this increase in demand, we will further invest in an upgrade program to expand the capacity of our wireless towers,” Williams said.

“Over the coming months, we will be upgrading a number of our wireless towers to fit them with greater data capacity. Naturally, we will be prioritising areas where users are experiencing congestion.”

The network builder has come under fire after it last week clarified the thresholds it uses to determine whether to take action on a congested cell or sector.

To continue reading the article: click here. (itnews.com.au)

NBN plans capacity boost for fixed wireless network

19 Feb 2018

NBN plans to boost the capacity of its fixed wireless service, according to the company’s executive general manager for access products, Gavin Williams.

In a blog entry posted today, Williams said that due to increased demand, NBN will “further invest in an upgrade program to expand the capacity of our wireless towers”.

“On the fixed wireless network, we have seen a significant spike in the amount of data being used in recent months, particularly in peak times,” Williams wrote.

“In addition to more data being used over a longer period of time, we are seeing a notable increase of concurrent users. This is often referred to as the 'Netflix effect' where many households sit down after dinner to stream their favourite show.”

In answer to a question on notice from an October Senate Estimates hearing, NBN earlier this month revealed that as of 30 November, it classified wireless cells in nine locations as congested.

To continue reading the article: click here. (computerworld.com.au)

NBN Co fixes wireless when users go below 6Mbps peak

17 Feb 2018

Updated: Looks for ways to cut lead times.

NBN Co has publicly defined the threshold at which it considers fixed wireless towers to be congested enough to warrant an upgrade.

In a surprise reveal earlier this week, the network builder said cells were deemed to have an unacceptable level of congestion when they provided “less than 3Mbps in the busiest hour of the day”.

NBN Co said it could take between three and 12 months to upgrade a cell, depending mostly on ownership of the infrastructure that the antennas are attached to.

“When NBN Co owns and operates the tower, the lead time to upgrade a sector can be as low as three months," it said.

The company said it was working on a “zero-based design project to optimise the capacity upgrade process and reduce lead times”, though it did not elaborate.

To continue reading the article: click here. (itnews.com.au)

NetComm claims ‘world’s fastest’ 4G fixed wireless device

17 Feb 2018

NetComm Wireless is claiming the world’s fastest 4G LTE fixed wireless outdoor device with the launch of its next generation LTE Intelligent Fixed Wireless Access unit (IFWA-6xx) which will be used to deliver broadband to customers on the NBN.

According to NetComm, the IFWA-6xx is the first technology of its kind to integrate an antenna design with network grade diagnostics and the capacity to deliver fibre equivalent broadband services to homes and businesses in rural and underserved areas worldwide.

The IFWA-6xx is the third generation of NetComm Wireless' fixed wireless technology, and the vendor says it “is set to bring world-class broadband to customers” on the NBN Fixed Wireless network later this year.

NetComm says the IFWA-6xx comprises of a series of network-grade LTE CAT 16 devices with the capacity to deliver gigabit speeds, while providing support for global LTE FDD and TDD bands, including the CBRS band in North America.

The new technology is designed to meet the spectrum availability, geographic and service level requirements of network operators and service providers in global markets.

To continue reading the article: click here. (itwire.com)

Mayor Seeks Blackspot Funding For Russell Island

17 Feb 2018

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has visited the Federal Government to lobby for improved mobile phone service as part of the Australian Government’s $220M black spot funding program.

Cr Williams said Council had been lobbying the Federal Government for years for additional mobile coverage in the Redlands, particularly North Stradbroke Island and Russell Island.
“There are a number of locations in Redland City where mobile coverage is less than ideal and we have been asking the Federal Government to prioritise these areas for a number of years,” she said.
“Of particular concern are North Stradbroke Island and Russell Island, with the current lack of reliable mobile coverage creating community and safety concerns.
“I met with the office of Minister for Regional Communications, Bridgette McKenzie in Canberra on Wednesday and requested North Stradbroke Island and Russell Island be included in the next round of black spot funding.

To continue reading the article: click here. (russellisland.com.au)

Tesltra Urges Gov To Bring 5G Auction Forward

17 Feb 2018

Telstra Chief Executive, Andrew Penn, is urging the Australian Federal Government to move up the planned auction of 5G spectrum – claiming it’s amidst discussions to fast-track procedures.

The 5G spectrum auction is scheduled for October this year.

According to The Australian, Penn affirms the auction needs to take place “as early as possible”, in order to launch 5G by next year.

“What’s most important is that the first round of spectrum comes to the market as early as possible”

“It’s already been brought forward from 2019 and we have been having discussions to encourage how it can be brought forward”

“The spectrum is obviously pretty important in the overall value equation of the distribution of mobile technology. You have the towers and then you have the spectrum and this upcoming auction will be very important”.

Many market commentators speculate 5G could be a major threat the NBN. Telcos could cut their NBN wholesale access volumes, whilst some users may be able to access comparatively faster speeds.

To continue reading the article: click here. (channelnews.com.au)

Telstra-backed trial achieves 2Gbps downloads over 4G

16 Feb 2018

Telstra, Ericsson, Netgear and Qualcomm have achieved wireless data transfer speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second during in-lab testing.

The demonstration used 100MHz of spectrum across three different frequency bands and employed Ericsson's Baseband 6630, Radio 4415, and Gigabit LTE network software.

The NetGear Nighthawk mobile router used for the test is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X24 Category 20 LTE modem chipset.

“With the ever-increasing demand for data and the need to provide our customers with a superior user experience, we are always striving to provide new solutions and develop advanced technologies,” Telstra’s managing director of networks, Mike Wright, said in a statement.

To continue reading the article: click here. (computerworld.com.au)

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