Mid May Update

17 May 2018

Optus continues this fortnight with 18 new sites and an additional 74 upgrades with almost 50 further upgrade proposals as well. Optus is in full swing adding 4G2100 and rural 4G1800 to many of its towers with Vodafone adding 4G900 to many of the same towers in unison. New sites were added to every state and territory except the ACT, but most were in NSW and VIC receiving half the towers or 5 and 4 respectively. 

Telstra continues to plan its future 5G deployments with Brisbane CBD, Adelaide CBD and Canberra joining in on the fun, a couple in Perth were also proposed. Telstra managed 18 new sites this fortnight not to be out done by Optus, with an additional 39 site upgrades and over 100 future upgrade proposals suggesting Telstra only getting started. The 5G deployments are also in areas where TPG are set to rollout their network so this could possibly be the beginnings of an arms race. 

Vodafone added 5 new sites and upgraded a further 55 sites, upgrades were centred around nb-iot 900mhz but some 4G2100 was also deployed as well.

TPG continues to roll out its new network with another 14 proposals, all around Melbourne’s CBD. This brings TPG's total of proposals to 321 or around 15% of their initial planned rollout.

NBN also activated 13 new sites around the country, with 5 site upgrades, and 1 new site proposals also reported. NBN this fortnight also reported 19 site upgrade proposals again this is a clear response to congestion reported on its network.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has decreased by a further 4 sites. Optus is still ahead of Telstra in 4G700 by 833 sites.

Telstra warns users off cheap SIMs

19 May 2018

Claims providers may be cutting security corners.

Telstra has warned mobile users to be wary of service providers touting cheap SIMs and data rates because the savings may come at the expense of security protections.

Speaking at CeBIT, head of security services Jacqui McNamara said that users “get what [they] pay for” when it comes to mobile.

“Telstra maintains the fifth largest security team in the country,” she said.

“We spend a lot of money on data security and we have a lot of things in place to monitor the network and scan for faults.

“If you are buying a SIM card from a carrier that is very cheap, has very cheap data rates, doesn’t live in this country and doesn’t necessarily comply with [data protection] regulations you just have to be conscious that you get what you pay for.

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

Android apps: Best of the best

19 May 2018

Trying to find the right app for any given area on Android is a lot like trying to order dinner at a restaurant with way too many options on the menu. How can you possibly find the right choice in such a crowded lineup? With the Google Play Store now boasting somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 gazillion titles (last I checked), it's no simple task to figure out which apps rise above the rest and provide the best possible experiences.

That's why I decided to step in and help. I've been covering Android from the start and have seen more than my fair share of incredible and not so incredible apps. From interface design to practical value, I know what to look for and how to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. And taking the time to truly explore the full menu of options and find the cream of the crop is quite literally my job.

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

Residents rally to stop Telstra

19 May 2018

WOODWARK residents are gearing up to stop the development of a Telstra mobile telecommunications network base station near their properties.

Telstra, represented by Silverstream in conjunction with the Whitsunday Regional Council, hosted a community information session on Thursday evening in regards to the 3G/4G 25 metre tower proposed to be erected at Mila Dr.

Residents opposed to the development attended the session where a Telstra information booklet was made available.

According to the information booklet, the tower's location was considered appropriate due to the capability of achieving the coverage objectives set out by the Federal Government's mobile black spot program while allowing separation from surrounding residential premises.

It also stated that existing vegetation would partially screen the facility from surrounding area.

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

Optus hauls Telstra to court over ‘unlimited’ advertising

19 May 2018

Optus is seeking Federal Court orders that would force Telstra to withdraw advertisements that use the term “unlimited”, with Australia’s second-largest telco arguing that the ads have the potential to mislead consumers.

The Telstra advertising campaign that launched in early May uses the slogan: “One word from Australia's best mobile network. Unlimited.” In addition to online ads, the national campaign has incorporated billboard advertising.

The ads describe Telstra’s network with “one word – ‘unlimited’,” Richard Lancaster SC, appearing for Optus this morning, said. “Unlimited is an ordinary English word has a clear ordinary English meaning - there are no limits,” he added.

The ad campaign launched concurrently with Telstra’s $69/month “unlimited” data plan. The plan includes a quota of 40GB of full-speed data, following which download speeds are capped at 1.5Mbps.

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

Optus lifts profits, boosts mobile subscribers and broadband customers

18 May 2018

Optus has increased its full-year profits to $817 million and boosted customer ranks over the last 12 months with the addition of 384,000 new mobile subscribers and 225,000 new NBN customers, according to its full year financial report.

The telco also reports that for the 12 months to March 31, it recorded a 3.4% increase in operating revenue to $8.71 billion for the full year, with the $817 million in net profit representing an increase of 2.8%.

For the quarter ended 31 March, Optus says the momentum in customer growth continued across consumer and enterprise markets with 154,000 new mobile services added in post-paid handset, pre-paid handset and mobile broadband segments.

Optus operating revenue for the quarter grew 3.0% to $2.16 billion despite the impact of the temporary suspension of connections onto the NBN HFC access network.

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

Optus clocks earnings surge despite NBN suspension woes

18 May 2018

Optus has revealed a $42 million quarter-on-quarter fall in net profit for the three months ending March, citing lower revenues from National Broadband Network (NBN) service migrations.

However, the local Singtel subsidiary’s full-year results for the 12 months ending March highlighted a 2.8 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit, to $817 million.

Altogether, Optus’ earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year grew by 3.9 per cent, to just under $2.8 billion, underpinned by the addition of 384,000 new mobile subscribers. Operating revenue for the year, meanwhile, rose by 3.4 per cent, to $8.7 billion.

At the same time, the telco claimed 225,000 new NBN broadband customers during the year and strong growth in its IT and managed services business.

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

Mobile blackspots: Littleproud blames telcos for lack of future funding

17 May 2018

TELCOS are unwilling to stump up more cash for the mobile blackspot program, a Federal Government minister says.

The $220 million program was not extended in last week’s federal Budget, and Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud put the blame squarely on the telcos, saying they were the “biggest impediment to that program going forward”.

“The CEOs admitted to me that they don’t see any viability in them going into another round,” Mr Littleproud said. “So they don’t want to come and put their money on the table. They run the telecommunication networks in this country, it’s important that the telcos be held to account to that.”

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

Bellbrae phone and internet worries aired again

17 May 2018

TELECOMMUNICATIONS in Bellbrae might be patchy but interest in the issue is still strong, with Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland meeting concerned residents on Monday.

At the meeting, held at Bellbrae Harvest and also attended by Labor’s Corangamite candidate Libby Coker, nearly a dozen people expressed their frustrations with landline and mobile phone services in the area, and repeated their request for a repeater tower to extend the National Broadband Network (NBN) fixed wireless coverage into Bellbrae West.

Bellbrae residents have had to use unreliable ADSL or expensive mobile broadband connections for years, and also have to deal with congestion on a nearby mobile phone tower during peak times.

As part of the NBN rollout, NBN Co constructed a fixed wireless tower near Anglesea Road but this has particularly displeased those in Bellbrae West, who lobbied hard for better internet but will more than likely have to use satellite, the slowest of NBN’s mix of technologies.

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

Telstra investors lose faith amid calls for drastic action

16 May 2018

Telstra's executive team and board have been left in no doubt that the market is no longer buying their long-term growth narrative, as its shares plunged on Tuesday, amid calls for drastic action on falling revenue and cuts to its dividend.

The telco's shares had already fallen hard on Monday, after it warned its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would come in at the bottom end of its guidance of between $10.1 billion and $10.6 billion.

They fell a further 4.9 per cent to a fresh seven-year low of $2.89 on Tuesday as investors were warned there were no clear solutions to the problems facing the telco sector.

Analysts struck a pessimistic tone as they demanded clarity on how the telco will deal with increasing price competition in mobile services, the impact of TPG Telecom's entrance to the mobile market and how it will replace wholesale broadband revenues lost to NBN and tackle increasing investment by Optus in its mobile network quality.

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

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