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 towers going up

24 Feb 2018

LOCALS on the Telstra network will have more coverage thanks to two new towers at Stanhope and Undera.

As part of a $12 million project across northern Victoria, capacity and speed upgrades to existing base stations, new small cells for 4G coverage, as well as Telstra’s contribution to the Mobile Black Spot Program will be rolled out.

“We know mobile coverage is a key priority for people and businesses in regional and rural areas,” Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker said.

“In Northern Victoria, this investment includes three projects to upgrade our mobile network in locations such as Stanhope and Strathmerton, installation of small cell technology at three locations including Ruffy and two new greenfield macro base stations including at Undera.

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

NBN Co has hundreds of active sites in '5G spectrum'

24 Feb 2018

Sizing the effort to move them.

NBN Co has registered at least 650 fixed wireless sites to operate in what is now prized 5G spectrum, complicating demands by Vodafone for the spectrum to be reallocated for commercial mobile use.

An investigation by iTnews shows for the first time the level of use of the 3.5GHz spectrum that NBN Co was given first right of use over back in 2014.

The 3.5GHz spectrum spans five metro and metro fringe areas and is now extremely valuable, courtesy of auction results in adjacent ranges at the end of last year.

While NBN Co can license the spectrum for $0.03 per MHz per member of the population ($/MHz/pop) in a given area, commercially it is now worth up to 64 times that price.

The huge price growth is due to 3.5GHz emerging as a favoured option worldwide in which to harmonise forthcoming 5G services.

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

Phone tower promise only half-delivered

23 Feb 2018

Only half of the promised 34 mobile towers to fix coverage blackspots in the Great Southern region have been built.

Under the Federal Government Mobile Black Spot Program, the Great Southern region was allocated 34 mobile towers over rounds one and two, but only 17 of these towers have been built in the past two years.

The $60 million-a-year black-spot program is design to improve mobile coverage along major regional transport routes and in small communities.

But under the MBSP’s latest round, only seven WA locations were selected, none of which were in the Great Southern region.

O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said the Federal Government prioritised other electorates in the latest round because of the big investment it had already made in O’Connor in the first two rounds.

“Under round one of the MBSP, 56 towers were allocated to O’Connor, more than any other electorate in Australia,” Mr Wilson said.

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

Public comment open on proposed phone tower at Dianella Plaza Shopping Centre

22 Feb 2018

A PROPOSED mobile phone tower at Dianella Plaza Shopping Centre is up for public comment until March 2.

Optus has proposed a 20m monopole with an overall height of 21.6m, located 1.1m from the northern wall of the building and the installation of 21 remote radio units attached to the monopole, a three-bay outdoor cabinet, ancillary equipment and four traffic bollards.

According to a report prepared by network services Service Stream on behalf of Optus, the location was the most preferred because it was considered as appropriate infrastructure in an area removed from community sensitive uses.

The report said the antenna configuration and low power requirements of the proposed tower would mean that electromagnetic energy emissions would be kept below the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency’s limits.

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

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)

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