Mid October Update

17 Oct 2017
OzTowers

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.

5G network: Telcos push for more mobile phone base stations around homes to deliver faster downloads

21 Oct 2017
InTheNews

THOUSANDS more mobile phone base stations could be installed near homes and playgrounds under a plan by Australia’s telecommunications industry to deliver next-generation mobile internet technology.

The industry is lobbying the Federal Government to relax strict rules around installing mobile phone infrastructure in residential areas, and to streamline regulations for freestanding mobile towers in cities to accelerate the introduction of 5G networks.

The new networking technology promises to deliver mobile download speeds up to 100 times faster than today, and enable innovations including driverless cars, remote surgery, smart homes, and even smart street lighting.

But the Federal Government has already warned “some members of the community have expressed concerns about ... increased telecommunications infrastructure” in their neighbourhoods, and telcos should consult with communities before installing equipment.

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

5 top tips to prevent your mobile phone from being stolen

21 Oct 2017
InTheNews

Your mobile is a highly desirable consumer valuable, so it's wise to take every possible step to ensure it isn't pilfered, and if the worst happens.

The chances are pretty good that your smartphone goes everywhere that you do. That's kind of the point of a mobile phone because they're great devices to stay in touch, stay informed and stay entertained while out and about.

However, they're also not all that cheap. Many Australians wander around with their mobiles on display, typically in use, but would you do the same thing with $1,200 in cold hard cash?

Odds are you just shook your head unless you're allergic to money. But with the most popular handsets in Australia typically retailing at or above that price point, that's essentially what you're doing. So what can you do to keep your precious phone safe?

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

Lendlease forms $US400m telco towers fund

21 Oct 2017
InTheNews

Lendlease Group has expanded its footprint into the telecommunications sector with an infrastructure joint venture with SoftBank Group to develop and own $US5 billion ($6.3 billion) worth of telecom infrastructure assets in the United States.

The joint venture, to be known as Lendlease Towers, will focus on partnering with major US carriers to roll out further phases of their infrastructure expansion plans to meet growing demand for data.

Over time, it is expected the group will look at Australia, but the telco sector is tightly held between only a small number of carriers. However, with the growth in mobile phone and internet usage, this will escalate.

It will target the development of 423 new rooftop towers and has already completed 135 towers with a further 288 in development. In the Lendlease annual report the value of the towers is about $83 million.

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

Telstra the standard-bearer for gigabit LTE: Qualcomm

19 Oct 2017
TelstraNews

Ensuring the nation has access to gigabit 4G is a foundational step towards rolling out a 5G network, Telstra's director of Networks has said, with the telco working towards this with Qualcomm.

In an effort to ensure the foundations for 5G in terms of speed, capacity, and latency are solid, Telstra remains focused on building out its gigabit 4G LTE network, with chip giant Qualcomm calling Telstra a world leader on the network technology.

Speaking during the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong this week, director of Networks Mike Wright told ZDNet that Telstra's world-first gigabit commercial network launched at the start of this year with Qualcomm and Ericsson is a main focus of the telco as it prepares its 5G trial network for testing during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"We're really at the moment concentrating on rolling out the additional 4G infrastructure we need for the traffic that's going to be on the Gold Coast next year, and then during the course of the year we'll be able to use that platform to do testing of 5G," Wright said.

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

Telstra ducks for coverage

19 Oct 2017
TelstraNews

DESPITE promising to have at least five black spot mobile phone towers operational by Christmas, Telstra is yet to begin construction on any.

Sawmill Settlement, Tolmie, Goughs Bay, Ancona and Woods Point were all due to have mobile coverage by now, with Enoch’s Point and Taylor Bay to be live by Christmas.

Construction is yet to begin on any of the towers.

“Telstra is still in the planning stage and working to obtain all approvals for the nominated site,” Telstra area general manager, Loretta Willaton, said of the Sawmill Settlement tower.

Telstra was unable to provide a progress update on the other six towers at the time of going to print.

Mansfield Shire Councillor Marg Attley has lived without mobile phone service in Tolmie for the last 13 years.

[PAY WALL]

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

Connection lost: Mobile blackouts 'not good enough'

19 Oct 2017
InTheNews

WHEN customers pay for a service, they expect the service to work.

But Helidon Progress Association president Kameron Jeffrey said that's not what's happening in the Lockyer and Brisbane valleys.

The association has launched a campaign to pressure the three major telecommunications providers -- Telstra, Optus and Vodafone - and all levels of government to improve intermittent mobile phone service in the region.

Mr Jeffrey said the unreliable service was letting down residents, small businesses and the region as a whole.

"For us to be able to future-proof our region, mobile phone coverage is a very basic necessity," he said.

"Regardless of what the telcos are saying, if Joe Bloggs isn't getting reception and is paying $70 per month, will (the telco) concede their service isn't good enough here or are they going to stick to their line and say 'We cover 99% of Australia, there is no problem'?

"If Joe Bloggs wants to call the mum-and-dad corner shop to order his chips and gravy, is he guaranteed a connection? No, and that's it."

There are no requirements for carriers to ensure adequate delivery of mobile services, though there are obligations on carriers to ensure landline connections and payphone access, which is subsidised by the Federal Government.

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

Telstra getting ready to fight TPG

19 Oct 2017
TelstraNews

Telstra says competition in the telecommunications sector remains tough and concedes it will probably lose customers to smaller rival TPG Telecom when the market newcomer establishes its own mobile phone network.

Telstra chairman John Mullen says TPG is "a formidable operator", and Telstra is not underestimating its impact on pricing and competition.

But, speaking at Telstra's annual general meeting on Tuesday, Mr Mullen said Telstra will continue to invest in its mobile network to ensure that it remains superior.

Mr Mullen told shareholders that TPG is likely to chase customers at the price-sensitive lower end of the market.

"They will go for low-hanging fruit, which means that they will probably go for the large cities to start with - they're a low-priced offering, so it will be a very different offering to Telstra," Mr Mullen said.

"We do not intend to chase that down, we intend to promote the benefits of our network and the investment we make in superior service.

"But we have to be realistic: there will be people who will change for a large price discount."

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

CWA national president attends Murray group conference at Holbrook

19 Oct 2017
InTheNews

THE pace of change in telecommunications may actually widen the gap between city and country services, according to a well-known rural group.

Country Women’s Association national president Dorothy Coombe said having “fair, accessible, quality, non-interrupted” mobile and internet services remained a priority for her organisation.

“We know the opportunities derived from telecommunications,” she said.

“But if you don’t have the network or the capacity or the tools to do that in a proper way, people in the bush have got this divide, which is getting greater and greater, and quickly because telecommunications evolve quickly.”

Speaking at the Murray group conference in Holbrook, Ms Coombe said modern solutions in many areas were so often technology-based, disadvantaging those who could not access them. Most decision-makers lived in cities and politics often determined reactions to the situation.

“We’ve got to get past all that stuff to what is actually working and what isn’t,” she said. “We have congestion, we have non-access, we have black spots.

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

Telstra pays to test 41,000km of network coverage

16 Oct 2017
TelstraNews

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)

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