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NSW government mulls unified public safety comms

02 Dec 2015
InTheNews

The government of the Australian state of New South Wales has completed a review of emergency services telecommunications, and has decided it wants a single statewide network.

The review (PDF), conducted by the NSW Telco Authority, concludes there's no point to having individual agencies own and operate their own networks: the authority wants the services to come from the private sector.

In the language of the public service, what the authority wants is to “harness the expertise that exists across agencies and make better use of the resources of private industry in order to provide reliable, secure and innovative solutions to our frontline personnel”.

In 2013, the country's emergency services lost the long battle to secure 20 MHz of spectrum for emergency services.

However, the authority hopes that Australian carriers like Telstra and Optus can still find some unused airwaves behind the lounge for emergency services, and is “seeking ind

To continue reading the article: click here. (theregister.co.uk)

ACMA releases 1800 mhz band for remote areas

02 Dec 2015
AcmaNews

The Australian Communication and Media Authority has released an information paper to telecommunications services providers on spectrum licensing and regulatory arrangements for the 1800 MHz band in regional and remote Australia.

The ACMA has revised existing regulatory measures for the band and developed access arrangements for remote Australia utilising telecommunications service apparatus licences (PTS licences) which it says will support the deployment of mobile services in remote areas.

To assist with an orderly release of licences in the band, the ACMA says it has defined a list of ‘priority assignments’ for access to the 1800 MHz band, and under this approach, applicants can only apply for licences in the specific channels assigned to them.

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

Mid November Update

23 Nov 2015
OzTowersMonthly

The big news this fortnight is Vodafone’s preparation for migrating its 850Mhz spectrum in rural Queensland (along the east coast) from 3G to 4G. I have not seen any official announcements however it would appear the switchover could happen any time now. All towers that are ready for the 4G switchover of the 850 band have 3G 900 active to provide coverage for older handsets. People with older handsets that don't support 4G may see a slight degradation of service, I'm sure Vodafone would encourage people onto 4G services.

New towers this period was very quiet, managing only 7 new sites between all 3 mobile providers with Telstra adding 4 towers, Optus 1 and Vodafone 2. NBN activated 17 new sites keeping their rollout moving along if not a little slower than last period. NBN now have 1150 active towers with a total 1798 towers active or proposed, adding a further 17 in the past couple weeks.

Moving onto Tower upgrades and Vodafone just piped out Telstra with 106 upgrades to 105 respectively. Vodafone’s focus was of course as already mentioned 4G 850, while Telstra was focused on 4G 700Mhz and to a lesser extent 1800Mhz and even lesser extent 2600Mhz. Optus was extremely quite with only 49 upgrades, with 700Mhz and 2600Mhz a main focus but also getting around to adding 3G services to a few towers.

With Optus' release of their "Wireless Home Broadband" product and their aggressive rollout of 2300Mhz (metro areas) and 2600Mhz (nationally) finally makes a whole lot of sense. Their plan is to attract all those people in NBN limbo, where for whatever reason ADSL is not an option but NBN is years away. Those people can now purchase an ADSL like product from Optus giving them 50GB of data for $70 a month, and when NBN arrives I'm sure Optus will be more than happy to migrate you to their NBN product. This is very smart and could make quite a dint into Telstra’s fixed line market share. Telstra is also now in a position where it cannot match this product with the lack of highband activated towers. Telstra has the spectrum, but has potentially missed the boat on making use of it in this NBN transitional period. Telstra would be at least 12 months behind if it decided to make an offering like this. Vodafone on the other hand doesn’t have the spectrum, however TPG has some 2600mhz spectrum (probably not enough however) and has suggested in recent articles its willingness to take on NBN in its wireless space. That coupled with its recent Vodafone partnership could see a new challenger to this space.


The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra's has closed further to 1147 by a whopping 59 sites as Optus really slows down their 700Mhz rollout and Telstra powers on.

TPG Telecom considers fighting NBN with mobile networks

20 Nov 2015
InTheNews

TPG Telecom has warned it might spend more on mobile networks that compete against the national broadband network if the federal government goes through with proposals to tax internet users in the city for the cost of building broadband in the bush.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set up the Bureau of Communications Research (BCR) in 2014, which last month recommended a $6 monthly tax be levied on every single high-speed internet line running in Australia.

It claimed this was the best way to pay for the $9 billion cost of delivering satellite and fixed-wireless internet services in rural and regional areas. 

The proposal is facing major opposition from companies such as TPG Telecom and Vocus Communications, which want to build high-speed broadband networks that can compete against the NBN in urban areas. The BCR said the tax could force networks competing against the NBN to raise their wholesale prices by 22 per cent.

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

So is it 4.5G or LTE-Advanced Pro? Either way, it’s pretty damn quick

12 Nov 2015
InTheNews

Huawei's Mobile Broadband Forum While BT and the UK government may think that 10Mbps is plenty of speed, nobody else does it seems, and the mobile world is now gearing up for 1Gbps. In fact, the so-called 4.5G even has an official name, LTE-Advanced Pro.

Whatever it’s called, the ability to increase the bandwidth beyond the 150Mbps of standard 4G comes from three technologies, namely carrier aggregation, more advanced modulation, and an increase in antennas.

Carrier aggregation is up and running on EE and Vodafone now (the networks combined), with typically 20MHz of spectrum from each of two frequencies – say 800MHz and 1800MHz in the case of EE – to provide more bandwidth and up to 300Mbps.

If the two carriers are contiguous you can get better performance. The LTE spec would technically allow lots of carriers to operate, but the cost of the spectrum means most people are looking to four as a sensible limit.

To continue reading the article: click here. (theregister.co.uk)

Telstra, Ericsson achieve five-carrier LTE aggregation

10 Nov 2015
TelstraNews

Telstra and its technology supplier Ericsson claim to have achieved a world-first with a test that used four separate radio frequency spectrum bands with five carriers for very high long term evolution-advanced (LTE-A) bit rates.

The trial at an undisclosed location used Telstra's production network, with a Cobham Aeroflex TM500 4G network testing device as the receiver.

It used 20 MHz each in the 700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz ranges, as well as two 20MHz bands in the 2600 MHz frequency range, for a total of 100MHz aggregated bandwidth.

Five carriers and 100MHz are the maximum under the current LTE-A specification.

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

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

03 Nov 2015
OptusNews

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.

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

End Of October Update

02 Nov 2015
OzTowersMonthly

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
InTheNews

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.

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

Telco review highlights importance of equitable mobile phone access

24 Oct 2015
InTheNews

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.

To continue reading the article: click here. (abc.net.au)

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