Mid May Update

17 May 2018

Optus continues this fortnight with 18 new sites and an additional 74 upgrades with almost 50 further upgrade proposals as well. Optus is in full swing adding 4G2100 and rural 4G1800 to many of its towers with Vodafone adding 4G900 to many of the same towers in unison. New sites were added to every state and territory except the ACT, but most were in NSW and VIC receiving half the towers or 5 and 4 respectively. 

Telstra continues to plan its future 5G deployments with Brisbane CBD, Adelaide CBD and Canberra joining in on the fun, a couple in Perth were also proposed. Telstra managed 18 new sites this fortnight not to be out done by Optus, with an additional 39 site upgrades and over 100 future upgrade proposals suggesting Telstra only getting started. The 5G deployments are also in areas where TPG are set to rollout their network so this could possibly be the beginnings of an arms race. 

Vodafone added 5 new sites and upgraded a further 55 sites, upgrades were centred around nb-iot 900mhz but some 4G2100 was also deployed as well.

TPG continues to roll out its new network with another 14 proposals, all around Melbourne’s CBD. This brings TPG's total of proposals to 321 or around 15% of their initial planned rollout.

NBN also activated 13 new sites around the country, with 5 site upgrades, and 1 new site proposals also reported. NBN this fortnight also reported 19 site upgrade proposals again this is a clear response to congestion reported on its network.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has decreased by a further 4 sites. Optus is still ahead of Telstra in 4G700 by 833 sites.

Telstra faces fresh mobile outage

22 May 2018

The telco took to social media at 9:00AM on 21 May to tell customers it was working to fix an issue impacting some mobile services

Telstra’s 3G and 4G services have been hit by network issues – the third time this month the telco’s mobile network has run into service snags.

“3G and 4G Mobile voice and data services - We are aware of an issue impacting some mobile services. We apologise for the inconvenience and are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” Telstra said on its website on 21 May.

The telco took to social media at 9:00AM on 21 May to tell customers it was working to fix an issue impacting some mobile services.

Aussie Outages, a website powered by software called Downdetector, which selects and displays tweets related to network problems, registered a peak of complaints regarding Telstra's network just after 10AM, with over 15,000 reports flooding in via social media channels.

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

Group calls for satellite and mobile spectrum sharing

22 May 2018

A discussion paper issued by the Communications Alliance’s Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) has called for a debate on sharing spectrum between satellite and mobile services.

The paper issued by the group urges the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) “to take a more holistic view of spectrum management and look to the needs of the whole communications community”, not just the needs of mobile network operators.

Mobile services “have been allocated a very large amount of spectrum over the past two decades” — usually spectrum previously used to deliver satellite services, the paper states.

The discussion paper suggests that the 26GHz band is one where mobile services and fixed satellite services may be able to share spectrum. The ACMA has detailed plans to release 26GHz spectrum for use with 5G mobile services.

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

Telstra Networks MD Mike Wright to explain outage at 2.30pm AEST

22 May 2018

In around 10 minutes, Telstra's Group managing director of Networks, Mike Wright, will give a "doorstop" interview on what caused Telstra's outage, but why don't they live stream it?

Update: Neither Sky News nor ABC News 24 covered Wright's doorstop live. Presumably there will be snippets in tonight's news, or later on Sky or ABC News 24. Why Telstra didn't think to stream this doorstop live to its own Twitter page, I don't know. It would have been a great thing to do and to see, if only Telstra had thought of doing it.

A few minutes ago as I type, Telstra emailed me to state that it is holding a doorstop interview on what happened to its mobile network, with Telstra Group MD of Networks, Mike Wright, to explain the situation.

This is to explain the outage that iTWire colleague Sam Varghese wrote about this morning, and which I followed up on not long ago, here.

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

Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster review: bust black spots on a budget

22 May 2018

Tackling black spots around your home, Telstra's Smart Wi-Fi Booster ensures your wireless gadgets are never caught offline.

Troubleshooting home Wi-Fi woes is a dark art; sometimes dead zones are caused by solid objects like double-brick walls, while other times you're at the mercy of interference from other wireless gear around your home which can mess with streaming music and video.

Things become even more complicated if you live in a multi-story home. Even if your Wi-Fi isn't dropping out completely, you might struggle to make the most of your broadband speeds when you're far from the wireless base station.

Rather than simply cranking up the signal strength or adding Wi-Fi extenders to bounce the signal around your home, the best option is to upgrade to a "mesh" network. These work by spreading a few smart wireless base stations around your home to work in unison. They all share the same network name, letting your Wi-Fi devices seamlessly roam between base stations as you move around the house, just like a mobile phone roams between towers.

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

Report: No grounds to block mobile tower covering Bendigo rail line

22 May 2018

A council report has found a council has no grounds to block a telecommunications facility that would tackle black spots along the Bendigo regional rail corridor, despite several people’s objections.

The Mount Alexander Shire Council is set to decide whether to endorse plans for a facility at Railway Street, Chewton on Tuesday night.

The proposed tower and associated works would be built as part of the state government’s $18 million commitment to improving mobile black spots along rail lines.

The application stated that the site was of particular importance to coverage for the Bendigo regional rail corridor and would give additional support for residential and rural areas in Chewton.

There were three objections to the site, one of which was withdrawn during the application process, the council report said.

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

Government has ‘abandoned’ Mobile Black Spot Program, says Labor

21 May 2018

The federal government has “abandoned” the Mobile Black Spot Program by not providing it with new money in the latest budget, says Labor.

But Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck said the recent decision to bring forward the triennial Regional Telecommunications review was proof the government hadn’t “walked away from black spot repair”.

Braddon Labor candidate Justine Keay said the government had to “get their act together” and recognise people in communities such as Gunns Plains were “languishing” due to scant reception.

Gunns Plains was promised a new mobile base station in 2016 and construction is now due to start by the end of the year.

“It looks like the community will be waiting for at least three years after (Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull made his commitment just to get decent mobile phone coverage,” Ms Keay said.

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

Telstra warns users off cheap SIMs

19 May 2018

Claims providers may be cutting security corners.

Telstra has warned mobile users to be wary of service providers touting cheap SIMs and data rates because the savings may come at the expense of security protections.

Speaking at CeBIT, head of security services Jacqui McNamara said that users “get what [they] pay for” when it comes to mobile.

“Telstra maintains the fifth largest security team in the country,” she said.

“We spend a lot of money on data security and we have a lot of things in place to monitor the network and scan for faults.

“If you are buying a SIM card from a carrier that is very cheap, has very cheap data rates, doesn’t live in this country and doesn’t necessarily comply with [data protection] regulations you just have to be conscious that you get what you pay for.

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

Android apps: Best of the best

19 May 2018

Trying to find the right app for any given area on Android is a lot like trying to order dinner at a restaurant with way too many options on the menu. How can you possibly find the right choice in such a crowded lineup? With the Google Play Store now boasting somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 gazillion titles (last I checked), it's no simple task to figure out which apps rise above the rest and provide the best possible experiences.

That's why I decided to step in and help. I've been covering Android from the start and have seen more than my fair share of incredible and not so incredible apps. From interface design to practical value, I know what to look for and how to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. And taking the time to truly explore the full menu of options and find the cream of the crop is quite literally my job.

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

Residents rally to stop Telstra

19 May 2018

WOODWARK residents are gearing up to stop the development of a Telstra mobile telecommunications network base station near their properties.

Telstra, represented by Silverstream in conjunction with the Whitsunday Regional Council, hosted a community information session on Thursday evening in regards to the 3G/4G 25 metre tower proposed to be erected at Mila Dr.

Residents opposed to the development attended the session where a Telstra information booklet was made available.

According to the information booklet, the tower's location was considered appropriate due to the capability of achieving the coverage objectives set out by the Federal Government's mobile black spot program while allowing separation from surrounding residential premises.

It also stated that existing vegetation would partially screen the facility from surrounding area.

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

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