Mid October Update

17 Oct 2017

Vodafone appear to be reporting their recent rollout in batches, this fortnight reporting a massive 48 new sites along with 146 site upgrades. Although most of the new sites were on existing towers (Mostly Optus, some NBN and a couple Telstra) there were 12 new sites that were solely deployed by Vodafone.  The site upgrades consisted mostly of 4G2100 and this fortnight it appears it was Victoria’s turn with 79 upgrades alone along with some finishing up of upgrades in NSW which received 40 upgrades. There was also some 4G1800 deployed also and a spattering of other bands mostly in the remainder of states. I suspect QLD will probably be next for 4G2100 upgrades once Victoria is complete.

Optus almost outdone by Vodafone in new sites this month still managed to take top spot with 51 new sites consisting of a far better percentage being deployed solely by Optus. Optus appear to be installing on existing Telstra sites more often these days as well.  Optus also managed to upgrade a further 65 sites with a spattering of bands, 4G1800 now is coming into focus for Optus but 4G2600 also features quite a lot.

This fortnight Telstra seem to be taking a bit of a breather, deploying 6 new sites with WA getting the bulk, Telstra also upgraded a further 48 sites. 4G700 remains the main focus, Telstra also proposed 93 site upgrades with their IOT (Internet Of Things) 4G900 taking the bulk but also 4G2600 is being proposed on a good number also.

NBN activated 9 sites as well as upgrading a further 4 sites. NBN also proposed upgrades to a further 30 sites with VIC getting half alone.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has increased by 19 sites as Telstra took their breather. Optus is still ahead of Telstra in 4G700 by 1011 sites.

Telstra pays to test 41,000km of network coverage

16 Oct 2017

Finds all three LTE networks are pretty good.

Telstra has paid four network test teams to drive and walk 41,000km to test the strength of mobile signals across Australia.

Group managing director of networks Mike Wright said in a blog post that Telstra commissioned the research to benchmark its coverage against rivals Optus and Vodafone.

Telstra is pumping billions into network improvement after a series of damaging outages last year. It is keen to maintain its image as an operator that can command a premium price for services.

The research firm Telstra commissioned - Systemics Group - fitted three Toyota 4WDs with high-end network test equipment by Rohde & Schwarz’s SwissQual to conduct “drive tests”.

Another team used backpack-sized equipment to conduct walking tests of coverage.

The firm said it used “commercially available SIMs” and conducted tests during the daytime and evening peak.

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

Govt calls on industry to help hash out Australia’s 5G rollout

14 Oct 2017

Local telcos may soon get a clearer view of how commercial 5G networks will be rolled out in Australia, with the Federal Government putting the wheels in motion to get the country ready for the technology.

On 12 October, the Government released a 5G directions paper, revealing it would convene a working group, bringing in industry and Government representatives, to drive the deployment of 5G mobile technology in Australia.

The Government said its work will support the “timely” rollout of 5G in Australia in order to enable the next wave of broad-based industry productivity and to foster the growth of Australia's digital economy.

“The commercial rollout of 5G mobile networks is expected to commence in 2020,” a statement by the Federal Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield, said. “5G will support improved connectivity, significantly faster data speeds, and very low latency.

“These characteristics will enable 5G to underpin substantial economic and social benefits across the economy,” it said.

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

Australia moves one step closer to 5G with gigabit speeds

14 Oct 2017

The federal government in Australia, led by internet entrepreneur and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, has released a 5G directions paper and announced that it will convene a working group to drive the deployment of 5G mobile technology in the country.

While Australians have already shown an insatiable appetite for mobile technology using existing 3G and 4G networks, the significant technological advances offered by 5G will, the government has said, provide new opportunities across a range of sectors.

This is why the federal government has announced that it will support the “timely rollout” of 5G in Australia to enable the next wave of broad-based industry productivity and “to foster the growth of Australia's digital economy.”

The commercial rollout of 5G mobile networks is expected to commence in 2020, the government’s Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said on Thursday. 5G will support improved connectivity, significantly faster data speeds, and very low latency. These characteristics will enable 5G to underpin substantial economic and social benefits across the economy.

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

Small rural telcos surge as NBN misses mark

13 Oct 2017

Regional providers take advantage of bandwidth demand.

NBN Co is facing increased competition from a growing band of grassroots telcos that are bringing superior high-speed internet services to regional and rural communities.

Despite 80 percent of the NBN rollout to date occurring in regional and rural Australia – including twin Sky Muster satellites to bring broadband to all corners of Australia – a large number of mostly fixed wireless operators have sprung up in towns across the country.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) counts 29 independent fixed wireless operators servicing local areas across the country.

A map maintained by Better Internet for Regional, Rural and Remote (BIRRR) Australia, however, suggests over 130 independent network operators have set up in NBN and mobile blackspots.

Their numbers have likely been bolstered by the fact that the government does not consider them as competitors to the NBN for the purposes of its planned broadband tax. (NBN Co and other industry players disagree with this assessment).

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

Vodafone switches on commercial NB-IoT services

13 Oct 2017

Launches NB-IoT network in parts of Melbourne and Sydney ahead of broader rollout

Vodafone has begun the progressive rollout of services based on the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) standard.

Vodafone has launched NB-IoT commercial services in Frankston and Port Melbourne in Victoria, and in North Sydney in NSW.

“We’re planning to go beyond that into greater Melbourne and surrounding areas in November and then continuing the rollout with a focus on Sydney and Canberra,” Vodafone’s executive general manager of enterprise, Stuart Kelly, told Computerworld.

The rollout across the rest of Australia will be driven by the needs of Vodafone’s enterprise customers and the NB-IoT projects they are working on, Kelly told Computerworld.

“We have a very strong IoT customer base within Vodafone Australia and an awful lot of those guys are very eager to talk — and they have been talking to us — about NB-IoT,” Kelly said. “We’ll utilise the knowledge and the skillset of Vodafone Group to assist our customers to plan for their NB-IoT journey,” he said.

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

Virgin Mobile's 17th birthday delivers 'red hot offers'

12 Oct 2017

Virgin Mobile is sweet seventeen, and in celebration is offering you some special discount deals with dollops of added data to delight and for download.

If you're looking for a provider to offer you a competitive plan, along with some discounting or special offer, there's no lack of such deals at the moment.

Whether it's Kogan Mobile offering a new special, Boost giving you half off for the first month and data-free Apple Music, Belong Mobile offering gifts of data, Vaya with its always low prices, OVO with ever better value massive mobile data, and a host of other telco and MVNO deals, the golden age of mobile voice and data is upon us.

In the mix of value, special member offers and more has always been Virgin Mobile, once an innocent newbie in the telco game, but now, after seventeen years, an experienced operator that knows what its customers want and how best to attract new ones.

It is the latter customer base that Virgin Mobile is batting its eyelids to this time, with some easy-to-understand deals designed to tempt you into taking up Virgin Mobile's offer, with a deadline of 8 November before the deals are done and dusted.

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

Vodafone IoT Barometer report for 2017/18: APAC ahead of the pack

12 Oct 2017

With the adoption of IoT technologies having "more than doubled" since Vodafone launched its first Barometer in 2013, IoT is creating new services, transforming businesses and more.

Vodafone repots the Internet of Things, or IoT, has "come a long way" since the company published its first IoT Barometer back in 2013, with "the number of organisations deploying IoT 'at scale' – meaning 50,000+ devices and more) has doubled over the past 12 months".

Today, Vodafone reports organisations are "using IoT to create completely new services and transform their businesses."

Indeed, we're told that "two-thirds of companies that have adopted IoT say that it’s already mission-critical. And nearly all of them have already seen a return on their investment".

On top of that, the company reports "those returns can be significant – where organisations reported an increase in revenue from adopting IoT, it averaged 19%. Where they reported a reduction in costs, the average was 16%".

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

Digital drought wake up call needed to advance telecommunications for agriculture

12 Oct 2017

TELECOMMUNICATION has become critical to agriculture productivity, but savvy reform to bridge the often frustrating gap between producer and reliable digital solution is required.

University of New England McClymont Distinguished Professor David Lamb says Australia needs “a three way wake-up call” to make the necessary changes to capture the benefits of precision agriculture.

Professor Lamb’s wake up calls spell out the need for: readily available access to information on infrastructure (on locations of mobile towers or underground cables); industry groups like Rural Development Corporations (RDCs) to bridge the extension gap and educate farmers about digital opportunities; service providers to prioritise improvement to connection speeds.

“Farmers have practiced precision ag for 20 years now,” Prof. Lamb said.

“They can see the value in accessing digital connectivity to improve decision-making. I have come across farmers that don’t blink at paying $40,000, even up to $100,000 for telecommunications solutions.

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

4G Newbridge antenna trouble

12 Oct 2017

On Wednesday October 4 Newbridge resident Sharni Latham was surprised to find a pair of workers installing an antenna on top of the Telstra telephone exchange located within her property on Trunkey St, Newbridge.

Not because the Visionstream contractors were there at all, more that she, nor anyone else in the village, knew anything at all about it.

Located on a corner of a block of land that Ms Latham leases to Telstra, her biggest concern is the radiation that the antenna will emit considering that it’s right in the centre of the village, and only three metres from her proposed home development.

“None of the neighbours, or anybody at Sunday’s village meeting, received any letters at all from VisionStream even though Blayney council has shown us all the information that they received about work being done,” she said.

Ms Latham said that she has has had a development application passed to construct a house right next door to the exchange and the possible effects of the tower are of greatest concern.

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

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