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Optus Is Selling 50GB Of Mobile Data For $70 A Month

03 Nov 2015

Is ADSL rubbish in your area? Can you not get cable internet? Are you still waiting for the NBN? (Yes, us too.) Well, have you considered using Optus 4G? With the launch of a new plan, Optus is targeting home internet users — renters, pop-up businesses and the terminally under-served — with a single super-high-capacity data plan and mobile brodband Wi-Fi hotspot. $70 per month will get you a massive 50GB of super-fast 4G mobile data.

Optus calls it Home Wireless Broadband; it’s really pushing the simplicity and ease of use of the service, talking about “simple, flexible internet access in no time”. And it’s true that a mobile broadband connection is super-easy, with no installation required beyond actually plugging that Wi-Fi hotspot into your power point and connecting to the wireless with your smartphone or tablet or laptop. It’ll certainly be cost-competitive with low-quota ADSL and NBN plans.

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End Of October Update

02 Nov 2015

The last 2 weeks again goes to NBN activating 27 new sites which continues their faster pace mentioned in the last report. NBN now have 1131 towers active as well as adding 36 proposals (all 3500Mhz), they now have 1781 of their expected 2100 towers listed as either active or proposed.

New tower numbers this time around have Telstra at 4, Optus at 12 and Vodafone at 10. Telstra's focus right now is upgrading existing towers with 4G so it's no surprise they only installed 4 new towers. Optus and Vodafone having finished they bulk of their 4G upgrade is now focusing on adding capacity, almost all new towers were in metropolitan areas for Optus and Vodafone.

Tower upgrades continue as they have been for some time now, Telstra 4G 700Mhz and 1800Mhz continues to be the focus with 96 tower upgrades.

Optus this time around has picked up their pace with 71 upgrades, with 700Mhz, 2300Mhz(metro) and 2600Mhz(rural) continuing to be the focus but also some 3G 2100 is being added to some towers.

Vodafone slowed their pace a little with 67 tower upgrades, with 850Mhz continuing to be the focus, 4G in metro and 3G in rural areas. Also 3G 900 is being added to some towers I suspect as preparation for 850 becoming wholly 4G in the near future.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra's has closed further to 1206 by 23 sites as Telstra continues their fast pace catch up.

Can NBN spark a rural mobile revolution?

30 Oct 2015

A report containing a review of telecommunication services in regional and remote areas of Australia was tabled in Parliament on October 22  2015. The review was conducted by a Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee (RTIRC) that is established every three years under Part 9B of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999. On the same day at an American Chamber of Commerce business lunch held in Sydney Vodafone Australia CEO Inaki Berroeta told The Australian that “people want to have mobile phone services in regional Australia. They don’t want payphones or fixed-line phones in their house, they want to use mobiles the same way that people use mobiles in Melbourne or Sydney.”

Now you might think that the remarks by Berroeta were echoed in the RTIRC report but that’s not the case. Berroeta’s focus was on how to ensure that mobile cellular operators gain access to a larger slice of state and federal government funds spent in regional and remote Australia and for the universal service to become mobile cellular based rather than utilising fixed-line, fixed wireless and satellite technologies.

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Telco review highlights importance of equitable mobile phone access

24 Oct 2015

The Federal Government's Regional Telecommunications Review highlights the importance of mobile phone services in rural and remote Australia. The final report from the Regional Telecommunications Review, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday, makes 12 key recommendations.

Telecommunications review highlights the increasing importance of mobile access (ABC Rural) For this review the Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Committee to have particular regard to the Government's national broadband network (the NBN) and Mobile Black Spot Programme policies, and whether current consumer protections continue to be appropriate following the rollout of the NBN.

Committee member, Georgie Somerset said there was wide ranging input into the review and what came through was just how important, and in many cases how inadequate, telecommunication services are in rural regional and remote areas.

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Vodafone calls for tougher backhaul regulations

22 Oct 2015

Predicts 5G will lead to a massive increase in data use.

Vodafone chief executive Iñaki Berroeta has argued for the federal government to take further steps to regulate the backhaul market in order to promote competition in rural and regional areas, ahead of the rollout of 5G networks.

The comments come after Vodafone signed two deals with TPG worth more than $1 billion, which will see TPG build a dark fibre network for Vodafone and migrate its own wholesale mobile customer base away from Optus to Vodafone.

In a speech delivered at an American Chamber of Commerce lunch in Sydney, Berroeta claimed end users in rural and regional areas were paying a $3.1 billion price premium because of a lack of competition.

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Telstra, Optus and Vodafone keep Melbourne Loop users connected

18 Oct 2015

Melbourne rail commuters can now call, text, email and browse the Internet on their mobiles, tablets and laptops while travelling through the City Loop underground tunnels, thanks to a partnership between the Victorian Government, Public Transport Victoria, VicTrack and our major carriers, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

David Epstein, Vice President Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Optus, has said that commuters will be able to utilise Optus’ 3G voice and data coverage to all commuters using the Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament underground station platforms and throughout the City Loop tunnels as well.

“Whether you’re making a call, checking work emails or streaming your favourite show, commuters now have mobile coverage throughout the City Loop” Mr Epstein continued to say

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Mid October Update

17 Oct 2015

The last 2 weeks haven't been particularly exciting except for NBN activating 30 new sites which has been the most activated in quite a while. NBN now have 1106 towers active as well as 1746 of their expected 2100 towers now listed as either active or proposed.

However with concerns over available capacity on the long term satellite solution, the cheapest way of adding more capacity to remote communities would be more wireless NBN towers (as apposed to a 3rd satellite) so 2100 towers may well be their starting point but I expect those numbers will continue to grow over time.

New tower numbers these couple of weeks were not particularly exciting also, with telstra continuing their usual pace with 10 new towers, Optus with 14 most of which were around metropolitan Melbourne (perhaps adding capacity to their recent 4G+ activation), and Vodafone adding 9 new towers around various metropolitan locations.

Tower upgrades continue as they have been for some time now, Telstra 4G 700Mhz and 1800Mhz continues to be the focus with 96 tower upgrades.

Optus this time around has really slowed down with only 49 upgrades, with 700Mhz, 2300Mhz(metro) and 2600Mhz(rural) continuing to be the focus.

Vodafone posted a respectable 80 tower upgrades, with 850Mhz continuing to be the focus, 4G in metro and 3G in rural areas. Vodafone also focused their upgrades on several 3G 2100Mhz only towers (they inherited from 3) with their lower band frequencies as well as 4G. Rural Queensland also featured quiet a bit with 3G 850Mhz being rolled out along the east coast.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra's has closed further to 1229 by 36 sites, the gap continues to close and even more quickly now.

Telstra, Optus, Vodafone have improved mobile networks, as these numbers show

14 Oct 2015

Telstra, Singtel-Optus and Vodafone Hutchison Australia have all improved their mobile networks over the past 12 months as they spend billions of dollars to win over customers.

Optus and Vodafone Australia both pledged to spend huge sums of money expanding and improving their mobile services to bring the fight to Telstra. The telecommunications incumbent fought back, pledging to invest $5 billion in the three years ending mid-2017 to maintain its lead.

But far from being hot air, the second annual P3 CommsDay Mobile Benchmark Australia report released on Wednesday morning shows that all three have genuinely put their money where their mouths are to improve voice call and data download performances.

The mobile market is one of the few telecommunications segments still reporting revenue growth as Australians use their smartphones to download more data. Rising competition among the three largest providers is threatening to lower profit margins across the board.

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Vodafone offering VoLTE before Christmas, but only for Samsung users

14 Oct 2015

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is set to hit Vodafone's Australian network, with the telco announcing that it will begin rolling out the service to post-paid customers on a select number of Samsung devices.

Users of the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge +, and Note 5 will be the first to have the settings needed to take advantage of VoLTE pushed to them, with other devices to follow at an unspecified time.

"It's a really exciting change for the network, as this is the first step to moving all voice traffic over to 4G," Vodafone Australia chief technology officer Benoit Hanssen said.

"In terms of the network, VoLTE means enhanced spectral efficiency with 2.3 times more users per MHz. It will also support the re-farming of our spectrum from 3G to 4G so that we can continue to provide great data speeds as traffic grows."

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Banned on Whirlpool

14 Oct 2015

I (jimbo) have now been permanently banned on whirlpool (no warning, breach of advertising apparently), and as such will no longer be participating on that site.

I guess thats the thanks you get for trying to contribute something real and useful to the community.

This is not the first time I have had dealing with moderators on whirlpool and if you think you have freedom of speech or that the discussion there has a complete range of viewpoints think again.

If you enjoyed what I was contributing to the community, then feel free to let them know what you think.

Thanks everyone for your support, but goodbye Whirlpool, I wont miss you.

UPDATE: I have been un-banned, however I will now be reflecting on any further involvement I may have with whirlpool in the future.

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