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.


When in roam: Vodafone $5 roaming adds 8 more countries

22 Jul 2017

Vodafone gives you roam to move, leaving you free to roam in NZ, and free to roam in the 63 other countries for $5 per day.

When in roam, do as the Voda roamers do – talk, text and use your data like you’re back here in Australia, for just $5 per day when you use one, two or all three of those services on a per-day basis.

As Vodafone’s Consumer Business Unit director Ben McIntosh said in his blog post, Vodafone “gives you the flexibility to travel to selected countries while using your mobile plan just like you do at home".

“The extra $5 a day allows you to tap into your plan inclusions — text, data and calls — so that you can stay connected and be productive while minimising the chances of getting stung with a nasty bill while you are out the country,” added McIntosh. More below.

“Remember, we only charge you $5 for the days you use international roaming, not for every day of your trip,” McIntosh continued.

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

Fifield predicts 5G revolution for Australia, ignores NBN

22 Jul 2017

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield clearly believes in the slogan that a former Labor prime minister, Julia Gillard, used in her last election campaign: moving forward.

Fifield has moved on to the next phase of his life: yesterday he gave a 2368-word speech at a telecommunications conference in Sydney and did not mention the word NBN even once.

He waxed lyrical about 5G, the proposed next telecommunications standard. You can see the entire speech here.

Fifield said: "I believe that the imminent arrival of 5G mobile technology will be a truly revolutionary event in the telecommunications industry. In fact, the arrival of 5G may well be an inflection point not just for the telecoms sector, but for the entire Australian economy."

One would think that the national broadband network, the project that's often called the biggest such endeavour in the country's history — NBN chief executive Bill Morrow sometimes calls it one of the biggest and most difficult in the world — would have figured even momentarily.

Fifield did use the word "broadband" twice – but once it was in reference to mobile broadband and on the second occasion he used the variation "wireless broadband". That's all.

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

New mobile towers for Flynn

22 Jul 2017

PHONE reception in Avondale, Gooburrum and Winfield will improve with new mobile phone towers announced yesterday.

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd welcomed the announcement by Optus of $1 billion investment strategy to improve mobile coverage across the country.

The investment includes plans to construct 500 new base stations - including 114 under the Australian Government's Mobile Blackspot Programme - five of which will be in Flynn.

"It's exciting to see Optus planning to invest so heavily in rural and regional mobile coverage," Mr O'Dowd said.

To continue reading the article: click here. (news-mail.com.au)

Optus reveals $1 billion plan to boost mobile coverage in regional Australia

21 Jul 2017

Optus is spending $1 billion building 500 new mobile base stations around regional Australia to compete better against Telstra and Vodafone. 

The money will be spent within one year and includes upgrading 1,800 existing 3G sites to 4G technology. The $1 billion spend includes the cost of spectrum licenses in regional areas and 114 towers built with funding from the federal government's Regional Mobile Blackspots Program. 

"This represents one of the single largest investments in regional mobile infrastructure in Australia's history," Optus chief executive Allen Lee said on Friday. 

"Optus is building out its mobile network in the places where people live, work and travel...Importantly, we are densifying the mobile network to provide better download speeds for data-hungry applications such as video streaming."

The competition watchdog recently decided it will not declare regional mobile networks as share infrastructure, which means Optus will not be forced to sell access to competitors. 

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

'Not holding my breath': Optus news fails to assure local

21 Jul 2017

OPTUS has announced it will add a new mobile site at Boyne Island to bring the company's mobile coverage to the area for the first time.

The growing demand for mobile data is what triggered the proposal to upgrade an existing telecommunications facility at Centenary Drive.

The proposal calls for three new panel antennas to be attached to a tower, where previously only Telstra equipment existed.

It includes a new shelter to house equipment to be mounted at ground level as well.

"In order to reduce the visual impact of the site, Optus will install the technology on an existing Telstra tower," an Optus spokesperson said.

"The site will provide coverage to the residential areas of Boyne Island along Handley Drive and parts of Boyne Island Rd."

"Coverage will also extend to parts of Tannum Sands."

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

Optus unveils billion dollar mobile spruce-up

21 Jul 2017

Optus is giving its mobile network a billion dollar spruce-up in what is the single largest regional capital expenditure plan in the telco’s 25-year history in Australia.

The telco will pour $1 billion into improving and expanding its mobile network in regional Australia by the end of June 2018, with chief executive Allen Lew saying the initiative will see service quality improve across the board for all Optus customers.

“This represents one of the single largest investments in regional mobile infrastructure in Australia’s history,” he said.

“Optus’ funding is earmarked to expand coverage and improve overall network performance for residents, businesses, and our wholesale partnership.

“It will also help build the network resilience that is critical to supporting public safety and emergency services during natural disasters,” he added.

Under the stated strategy, Optus will build 500 new mobile sites across regional and remote parts of Australia, including 114 sites under the federal government’s mobile black spots program. It will also complete its 4G upgrade program with more than 1800 sites transitioned from 3G to 4G technology.

Extra 4G capacity will be added to more than 200 sites.

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

Software providers eye opportunity for sensor solutions

21 Jul 2017

THE growing fleet of farm management software providers eagerly await the rollout of narrowband technology in NSW, waiting for an opportunity to finally link automated production data with farm management platforms.

Discovery Ag and the National Narrowband Network Network (NNN Co) announced a joint venture dubbed Connected Country.

Starting in NSW’s Central West, Connected country is building Australia’s first rural narrowband network to link an on-farm internet of things for in-field sensors to the web.

Narrowband Networks do not carry enough data for phone calls.

They are designed to link sensors that measure soil moisture, weather, frost alarms and so on to the web, where software systems can aid management of input usage, pasture growth and feed budgeting, cell grazing, crop rotation and so on.

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

Telecom Lobbyists Downplayed ‘Theoretical’ Security Flaws in Mobile Data Backbone

20 Jul 2017

According to a confidential document obtained by Motherboard, wireless communications lobby group CTIA took issue with an in-depth report by the Department of Homeland Security on mobile device security, including flaws with the SS7 network.

In a white paper sent to members of Congress and the Department of Homeland Security, CTIA, a telecom lobbying group that represents Verizon, AT&T, and other wireless carriers, argued that "Congress and the Administration should reject the [DHS] Report's call for greater regulation" while downplaying "theoretical" security vulnerabilities in a mobile data network that hackers may be able to use to monitor phones across the globe, according to the confidential document obtained by Motherboard. However, experts strongly disagree about the threat these vulnerabilities pose, saying the flaws should be taken seriously before criminals exploit them.

SS7, a network and protocol often used to route messages when a user is roaming outside their provider's coverage, is exploited by criminals and surveillance companies to track targets, intercept phone calls or sweep up text messages. In some cases, criminals have used SS7 attacks to obtain bank account two-factor authentication tokens, and last year, California Rep. Ted Lieu said that, for hackers, "the applications for this vulnerability are seemingly limitless."

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

MOBILE PHONE TOWER FAIL: Material fell from Optus antenna

20 Jul 2017

A VODAFONE spokesperson has revealed an 'interesting development' which was discovered as part of their investigations into the a mobile phone tower incident causing traffic chaos at Springfield.

Yesterday about 4pm part of a mobile phone tower came off and fell onto Sinnathamby Blvd.

Acting mayor Paul Tully said it's lucky 'no one was killed' in the incident.

Major traffic delays are continuing this morning after the piece of shrouding fell from the top of a 10-storey building at Springfield Central.

Initially believed to be a Vodafone tower, the service provider has now revealed the piece that fell was from an Optus tower located on the same building.

"Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are all there on top of the same building," a Vodafone spokesperson said.

"Even though the shrouding was covering Optus antenna under our agreement joint venture agreement with Optus we are responsible for the equipment.

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

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