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Fixed Wireless NBN turns out worse than ADSL for some

11 Jan 2016
NbnNews

It was supposed to be next-generation infrastructure which would make their old broadband connection obsolete. But for some connected to the NBN company’s Fixed Wireless infrastructure, the performance of the platform is leading them to question whether their old ADSL broadband was actually a better option.

When the NBN company told residents in the Pacific Haven area of Queensland in mid-2015 that it was planning to switch on next-generation broadband to their properties through deploying four Fixed Wireless towers, residents such as Grant Maw were elated.

Maw, an independent software developer who works from home, deals with clients located around the world. “For me, decent Internet means the difference between making a living or not,” he says.

The deployment of the infrastructure was also viewed as a landmark move by other residents in the area, some of whom had been struggling to get any form of usable broadband access for years.

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

End of December Update

04 Jan 2016
OzTowersMonthly

Being the beginning of silly season and as work winds down for the year, there was a last final push to complete as much work as possible before the new year for Vodafone . They continued their rural 4G roll-out in QLD as well as in rural NSW. Vodafone upgraded 135 sites, (55 in NSW and 44 in QLD) mostly adding 4G 850 to sites as well as a few 3G 900 to some sites as the 850 band is being re-farmed. Vodafone added 2 new towers in this 2 week period but one of those is a 'Vodafone COW' (cell on wheels) so likely temporary.

Telstra upgraded 57 sites with the upgrades almost exclusively adding 700Mhz however there were a couple sites where 1800Mhz or 2600Mhz was also added. Telstra also added 3 new sites.

Optus, falling behind once again, upgraded 39 sites as well as adding 2 new sites. The upgrades mostly centered around 700Mhz and 2600Mhz.

NBN activated 8 new towers and now have a total of 1883 (active and proposed) towers listed in the Rfnsa data. NBN continues to propose towers using 3500Mhz mostly around the outskirts of capitol cities and some using exiting mobile sites.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra's has reduced further to 1072 sites as telstra continues the trend closing the gap and catching up to optus.

Vodafone switches on 4G in regional Queensland

25 Dec 2015
VodafoneNews

Vodafone is fulfilling its promise to bring 4G connectivity to regional Australia, switching on 4G in 235 sites across Queensland.

Vodafone Australia is continuing its bid to extend mobile coverage to areas outside of its metropolitan footprint, with the telecommunications carrier rolling out 4G to regional and metro Queensland.

In order to provide coverage throughout Queensland, Vodafone refarmed its 850MHz spectrum band to extend capacity, switching it on in 235 sites. The low spectrum band penetrates buildings more effectively than higher bands, working alongside the 4G provided through the 1800MHz spectrum band, the telco explained.

"L850 will offer a variety of potential improvements, including faster streaming speeds, greater network stability, and, for some customers, 4G access for the first time," Vodafone CTO Benoit Hanssen said.

Hanssen added that the widespread uptake of streaming services has led to data usage increasing in Queensland.

"Queensland mobile data consumption on the Vodafone network has increased by over 50 percent since December 2014, and we expect to see that trend continue with more customers now able to access 4G speeds," Hanssen said.

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

Mid December Update

23 Dec 2015
OzTowersMonthly

Vodafone has officially announced 4G 850Mhz upgrades around Sydney, Rural NSW and ACT, however no official word yet on QLD. Vodafone is reallocating the remainder of their 850Mhz spectrum from 3G to 4G and using their 900Mhz spectrum to take up the slack for 3G. In the data we see Vodafone upgrading 127 towers, 53 of those in NSW and 44 in QLD, all of which are for the 4G 850 upgrade. Vodafone didn't enable any new towers this period, but thats to be expected since such a massive upgrade is taking place. Although no announcement for QLD has been made, my guess is it will be next and enabled early in the new year.

Telstra continues their 700Mhz upgrades with a total of 129 tower upgrades for this fortnight focusing mostly in the eastern mainland states, Telstra also added 5 new towers.

Optus although trying to keep up upgraded a respectable 93 towers as well as adding 2 new towers. Optus continues to focus on 700Mhz as well as 2600Mhz.

NBN activated 8 more towers and has recently announced a further 240 towers to shift load off the long term satellite solution and onto the fixed wireless network. Their active tower count is now 1177 and now have a total of 1870 towers listed in the Rfnsa data. Back in May of this year NBN's total tower count was at 2057 and with the additional 240 towers that number should now be just shy of 2300 total towers to be built, which means 427 are yet to be announced in the Rfnsa data.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra's has grown by 8 towers to 1134 sites as Telstra also rolled out 4G on bands other in addition to their 700Mhz roll out, allowing Optus to claw back their lead slightly.

Vodafone improves 4G across ACT, regional NSW

18 Dec 2015
VodafoneNews

Vodafone Australia is continuing its bid to extend mobile coverage to areas outside of its metropolitan footprint, with the telecommunications carrier rolling out improved 4G to the Australian Capital Territory and regional New South Wales.

In order to provide consistent coverage throughout the ACT, Vodafone refarmed its 850MHz spectrum band to extend capacity, switching it on in 91 sites. The low spectrum band penetrates buildings more effectively than higher bands, working alongside the 4G provided through the 1800MHz spectrum band, the telco explained.

"Our strengthened 4G network will offer benefits to customers, such as better network performance and stability, and more consistent coverage, especially indoors," said Vodafone CTO Benoit Hanssen.

"A majority of customers in Canberra and surrounds already use devices that are compatible with this spectrum band, so they should immediately notice the improvements without having to do a thing."

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

Vodafone expands ‘Greater Sydney’ 4G footprint thanks to L850 re-farm

18 Dec 2015
VodafoneNews

Vodafone’s re-farming of an extra 5MHz band of its 850MHz spectrum is complete, with Greater Sydney areas getting extra 4G capacity and an improved mobile experience.

The ‘Greater Sydney’ area between Nelson Bay, Kiama and the eastern edge of the Blue Mountains now has more Vodafone 4G and the promise of an ‘improved mobile experience.’

Vodafone explains that ‘low-band spectrum, such as L850, provides high quality indoor mobile coverage as the lower frequency signal penetrates buildings more effectively than higher frequency signals.’

Telstra proved this with its 850MHz Next G network years ago, and Vodafone knew it too as it also has 850MHz spectrum.

In any case, the development complements the 4G coverage of Vodafone’s 1800MHz spectrum.

Thus, Vodafone says capable devices ‘are now able to aggregate the 850MHz and 1800 MHz band for an optimal mobile experience on the Vodafone network.’

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

NBN shifts 40k premises off satellite to offer more data

14 Dec 2015
NbnNews

Wants to avoid congestion issues on long-term satellite.

NBN will move 40,000 premises around Australia off its long-term satellite service and onto fixed wireless and fixed line services to free up capacity for other satellite users.

In late October it was revealed NBN planned to set caps for users on the LTSS after experiencing capacity issues on its interim satellite services.

This new fair-use policy would see a standard plan of 75GB introduced, with 100GB and 150GB premium options, to mitigate against congestion.

....

NBN head of fixed wireless and satellite Gavin Williams said that by adding around 240 extra fixed wireless towers, the network builder could optimise load on the satellite and improve capacity.

 

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

Telcos get second chance to bid in Aussie mobile blackspot program

10 Dec 2015
InTheNews

Public asked to nominate sites with no coverage.

Australia's telecommunications companies will get another chance to bid for tens of millions in funding from the government to build mobile towers in regional blackspots as the second round of the national mobile blackspot program opens.

The federal government previously committed $60 million to the second phase, and competitive bidding will take place early next year.

Before bidding can take place, the federal government needs to build a national database of blackspot sites across the country.

It today asked members of the public to nominate rural and regional areas that currently have inadequate mobile coverage.

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

NBN launches 50Mbps/20Mbps fixed wireless in the bush

07 Dec 2015
NbnNews

Fixed wireless is coming to more than 500,000 Australian homes and business in regional and rural Australia from today.

Boasting that NBN Co’s new fixed wireless broadband solution is 30% faster than that in Ireland, a country NBN Co says is our ‘next best fixed wireless global peer.’

NBN Co’s fixed wireless system uses radio signals from NBN’s ground stations, delivering ‘fast broadband by transmitting data to equipment inside and outside the home.’

Designed ‘to provide access to wholesale speeds of up to 50mbps download and 20mbps upload,’ NBN Co says this new network isn’t like a traditional mobile wireless service ‘where speeds can be affected by the number of people moving into an area.’

Instead, NBN Co’s fixed wireless service ‘is designed to deliver fast and reliable broadband to regions which often experience lags and drop-outs.’

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

End of November Update

06 Dec 2015
OzTowersMonthly

This fortnight the data shows Vodafone continuing to deploy 4G throughout rural Queensland and once switched on will have more low band 4G towers in the state than Optus and even Telstra. As yet no announcements from Vodafone have been made but I would expect to see that very soon. Vodafone upgraded 135 towers this period more than Telstra or Optus.

New towers this period picked up to more normal levels, Telstra adding 9 new towers, Optus 8 and Vodafone 5. Optus however made proposals on 24 new towers, some of which were on existing NBN and Telstra towers, these sites would no doubt help Optus solve their network "depth" issue.

NBN this period is continuing their relatively fast pace activating 25 towers and proposing a further 25 towers. Northern Central Victoria was a focal point for the activation's, while the new proposals focused in areas on the outskirts of metro areas. NBN now have 1169 active towers with a total of 1818 active or proposed towers.

Telstra upgrades this month continued their fast pace roll-out of 4G services mostly in the lower 700Mhz band but also included some higher bands in some areas. Telstra upgraded 113 sites this period.

Optus lags behind once again with only 78 upgrades. However 4G 700Mhz was the main focus, no doubt trying to hold of Telstra for as long as possible.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra's has closed further to 1126 by a more modest 21 sites as Optus picked up the pace but Telstra continues to power on.

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