Mid July Update

18 Jul 2017

Telstra continues to power along with 16 new sites this fortnight as well as 59 upgraded sites and 4G2600 now being a major focus. QLD and WA were the main recipients of the new towers with 6 and 5 sites respectively. Telstra has begun deploying 4G only sites including sites now that have only 4G700, these appear to be small sites and they are appearing in both rural and metro areas. Other small cell sites also include other frequencies such as 4G1800 and 4G2600.

Optus continue to deploy new sites also and managed 23 new sites as well as 33 site upgrades. Optus also continue to propose almost as many new sites as well as a further 55 sites to be upgraded. So, Optus doesn’t appear to be done yet with upgrading its network with many of the upgrade proposals featuring 4G1800 in rural areas, I suspect that rollout may get under way soon.

Vodafone added 4 sites to its network and upgraded a further 24 with again 4G2100 being the main focus but some 4G850 is still being deployed. Proposals for Vodafone has also fallen on a cliff with only 5 new site proposals and 7 site upgrade proposals and no sign of any 4G700 upgrades yet.

NBN activated 4 new sites as well as upgraded a further 3. NBN also made a further 5 new site proposals most were on existing telco sites but 2 of them were new site proposals. This writer has finally been allowed to sign up for NBN, out of the blue my address has become ready for service despite NBN's site saying otherwise. I've signed up with My Republic as I think they have the most competitive plan on the market and are claiming speeds in excess of 30mb/s on average (5 times faster than a dodo). I’ll happily provide a review of my experiences once I'm up and running.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has increased by 3 sites as Optus holds Telstra at bay. Optus is ahead of Telstra however in 4G700 by 1088 sites.


Tasmania Gets A 4G Boost From Vodafone

28 Jul 2017

Vodafone just expanded its 4G coverage in Tasmania, with Steppes and Ouse getting a boost from today.

Vodafone says the new site at Steppes - part of the Federal Government's Black Spot program - will provide expanded 4G mobile coverage between Bothwell and Steppes State Reserve, delivering 94.5 square kilometres of additional 4G mobile coverage to the region - including 8.5km of new handheld coverage on major transport routes.

A network site not part of the Black Spot program was also switched on today - in the Central Highlands town of Ouse. This will provide 83.5 square kilometres of additional coverage, with 29km of new coverage along roads and rail lines, and is entirely self-funded by Vodafone.

From 2013 through to 2018, Vodafone is spending $28 million on Tassie, with 57 new sites being built over the five year period. 17 of those are switching on this year, Vodafone says.

"We know how important reliable mobile coverage is to regional Australia," said Vodafone Regional Manager, Kevin Biles. "The Mobile Black Spot Program is a fantastic initiative, and a great example of what industry and government can achieve when they work together for the benefit of regional customers."

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

No more black spot as phone tower is launched at Murringo | Photos and Video

27 Jul 2017

One of the region’s most frustrating mobile phone dead zones finally came alive this week after a new mobile phone tower was launched at Murringo.

The mobile phone tower boasts expanded 3G/4G mobile coverage provided by Telstra through the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program. The program has been bolstered by a $25 million investment from the NSW Government to improve reception in black spots across the state.

The tower has been welcomed by Murringo families, farmers, small businesses and emergency services.

Murringo RFS captain Peter Parkman described the tower as a “huge step forward”, saying previously, firefighters could only be notified of an emergency through an out-dated pager service, or by making mobile calls when they were “miles out of town”.

Local bulk haulage business owner Paul Reynolds said Murringo has always been a notorious and troublesome black spot.

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

Towamba tower does not impress

27 Jul 2017

A new mobile tower installed recently in Towamba should provide access to both 3G and 4G mobile services, but one Towamba resident said he had seen no improvement. 

Telstra proudly posted a video on its Facebook page announcing the tower was up and running on Friday, July 21. “Noticing better coverage in parts of Towamba?” the post said. “We’ve recently completed building a new mobile base station in the area under the Mobile Black Spot Program, delivering high-speed, 4G mobile services never experienced before!”

However, within hours the post had been bombarded with comments from Towamba residents claiming the tower had not improved reception. One was from Chris Lewis who said  he had heard other residents were happy but for him it had made no difference. 

“We're just a mile from the tower on Log Farm Road and reception is dire still,” Mr Lewis said.  “Oddly, people further along the road seem to get much better reception but I think their house is set a lot higher than ours.

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

When a farmer's internet speed was slow, he built a private 53m tower

26 Jul 2017

An outback Queensland farmer hatched an unusual plan to counter slow internet speeds - build and install his own 53-metre tower.

And now he plans to use the technology to set-up a live feed for his 6000 hectare property about 20km north of Dirranbandi, a rural town about 470 km south-west of Brisbane and midway between St George and the New South Wales border.

Beef and crop farmer Andrew Sevil consulted a Brisbane engineer to design and construct a guyed mast tower that would allow him to connect to internet services in neighbouring towns.

Mr Sevil built the trusses during wet weather when he was unable to do work out in the paddock.

The tower was lifted into position after 12 months of planning and cost about $16,000.

Mr Sevil said the tower had opened a whole new world.

Prior to the installation of the tower, their internet speeds were only a few megabits per second but by accessing internet from St George, 50km north, they are reaching speeds of 40 to 50 megabits per second through Telstra.

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

One week to go before Optus shuts down its 2G network

26 Jul 2017

Optus will complete the switch off of 2G GSM services on 1 August.

In April, Optus switched off 2G services in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The telco will complete the shutdown of its 2G network next week, the telco confirmed this morning.

Optus’s 2G network launched in 1993 (along with the Telstra and Vodafone 2G networks).

“Nearly 25 years on, and our customer levels using the 2G mobile network have significantly decreased as greater smartphone usage and advances in 4G technologies drive customer preferences for mobile data and faster speeds,” said managing director of networks at Optus, Dennis Wong.

“This was the right time for us to close the 2G network.”

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

Port Moorowie coverage boost

25 Jul 2017

TELSTRA customers at Port Moorowie now have improved mobile coverage thanks to the installation of a new mobile base station, funded through the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot program.

The 35-metre tower was switched on two weeks ago, and the official launch was Wednesday, July 19.

“The growing use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets is changing the way we live and Telstra is acutely aware of the challenges facing communities living with limited access to a mobile network,” Telstra Area South Australia general manager Mark Bolton said.

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

False hope before mobile phone tower approved for Gateshead

25 Jul 2017

A LANDOWNER who told overjoyed Whitebridge residents he would scrap a lease for a controversial mobile phone tower has apparently been unable to deliver, as Lake Macquarie council approved the tower on Monday.

Councillors voted seven to four in favour of plans for the 37-metre tower on Bulls Garden Road, Gateshead, after an emotional campaign waged by Whitebridge residents who say it will be ugly and produce electromagnetic emissions.

Those in the majority, including mayor Kay Fraser, said they had to consider “the whole community” and evidence which, they said, doesn’t support claims that the tower will endanger residents’ health.

Residents against the tower cheered and hugged Michael Constantine at a site inspection earlier this month when he announced that his lawyer had informed Optus their $15,000-a-year deal to lease his land was off.

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

Kensington residents signal opposition to mobile phone tower at Moresby St Reserve

25 Jul 2017

A GROUP of Kensington residents are campaigning to keep the green open space of their local park following a proposal for a mobile phone tower they believe will hurt their neighbourhood.

Optus want a mobile phone base station to be built at Moresby Street Reserve, with a height of 16.5m.

Residents sent a petition to the City of South Perth with 181 signatures calling for an alternative location.

The council is set to decide tonight whether to approve the tower, although the officer’s recommendation is to refuse it.

Among the people to show their concern is Phillip Martinz, who lives on Douglas Avenue and owns hairdresser This Above All on Moresby Street.

“My concern is about why they need it here and the fact it’s so close to residential homes,” he said.

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

ACMA expects formal 5G standards by late-2018

25 Jul 2017

The Australian Communications and Media Authority expects formal standards for the first phase of 5G to be in place by mid- to late-2018, and deployments to start a year or two after that.

ACMA acting chairman Richard Bean told a telecommunications conference in Sydney last week that while everyone expected 5G to supplement, and probably replace existing standards like 4G over time, it was generally accepted that standardisation and harmonisation was still at the formative stage.

"(Everyone knows) that 5G is expected to deliver what is essentially a super-fast version of today’s mobile broadband networks, massive scale machine-to-machine communications necessary to support the Internet of Things, and ultra-reliable and low latency communications to support things like remote control of industrial or medical processes," Bean said.

"There are many, though, who will argue that, for cost or other reasons, 5G will not have a monopoly on IOT-related matters in particular."

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

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