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Vodafone mobile subscribers dip as Telstra and Optus turn up the heat

25 Jul 2015

Vodafone Hutchison Australia chief financial officer James Marsh expects get stronger subscriber growth over coming months despite losing 47,000 mobile customers over the past six months amid rising competition from rivals, Telstra and Singtel-Optus.

Hong Kong's HTA and UK-based Vodafone Group each own 50 per cent of Vodafone Australia.

According to HTA's financial results for the six months ending June 30, 2015, Vodafone Australia had 5.255 million mobile subscribers once wholesale customers are included. This was down from the 5.3 million it had at the end of December.

By comparison, Telstra has about 16.4 million customers and Singtel-Optus has 9.43 million users.

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Mid July Update

17 Jul 2015

In the past couple weeks, the biggest news is that all 3 major carriers are rolling out at almost exactly the same pace. The numbers are so similar there really isn't a clear winner this time around, however because Optus' rate has slowed so much Telstra and Vodafone has been allowed to catch up. Vodafone had 70 site updates and 13 new sites which is consistent with recent periods. Telstra upgraded 77 sites and added 9 new sites while Optus continued with their slower pace with 76 site upgrades and surprisingly only 5 new sites.

Telstra continues to add proposals for 700Mhz upgrades, but not at any great pace that would indicate a major shift in their roll out speed.

NBN also picked up their pace slightly activating 17 towers and adding an additional 7 proposals bringing their total to 1713 active and proposed. NBN continue to switch some of their proposed 2300mhz sites to 3500mhz proposals.

NBN downplays 5G plans while 4G beats international peers

16 Jul 2015

NBN's 4G fixed-wireless network has topped a comparison of 22 wireless broadband networks across the globe.

NBN's TD-LTE network is less than halfway built, despite initial plans to have the network construction completed by the end of 2015. It currently reaches 268,000 of the 600,000 premises planned to connect to the National Broadband Network (NBN) via wireless as of the end of June this year.

A total of approximately 47,000 premises are connected to the network with a service.

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Our wireless is the best, says NBN

16 Jul 2015

The NBN might be delivering a sub-optimal wired service now the Government has directed it to use copper rather than fibre, but it says its wireless service will be first rate.

Amid all the controversy over Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘multi-technology mix’, under which millions of NBN users will now be connected via fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) rather than fibre-to-the premises (FTTN), it is sometimes overlooked that there are also two other major technologies delivering the NBN (with about one third using existing Optus and Telstra HFC connections).

Wireless and satellite will between them account for around 8% of the NBN’s eventual 10 million connections, mostly in regional and remote Australia (see chart). NBN will be launching two satellites (these users are currently served by a slow interim services), which will offer some of the best Internet satellite connections available globally, and it is now spruiking the merits of its wireless broadband service.

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NBN Co to deploy 5G in the bush

16 Jul 2015

The national broadband network will deploy next-generation 5G technology for internet users in rural and regional Australia, according to Liberal frontbench MP Paul Fletcher.

Mr Fletcher will make the announcement as part of a speech at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai on Thursday, as a replacement for NBN chief executive Bill Morrow, who was unable to attend due to a death in the family.

The 5G systems are set to be commercially released by 2020 with the promise of 10 gigabit per second downloads speeds, near-zero signal lower lag times for things such as driverless cars and super-low battery consumption.

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Telstra GSM switch off 2016, Nokia says 100% GSM data growth

13 Jul 2015

As Telstra prepares for its GSM 2G network switch off in 18 months time, to the chagrin of many customers, Nokia separately says telcos should prepare for 100% GSM data growth.

This time last year Telstra was announcing that its 2G GSM network was going to be switched off at the end of 2016, to the chagrin and annoyance of many of its customers with 2G GSM and GPRS equipment.

Many of these users have commented at Telstra’s blog post to complain that the equipment they have comes with 2G GSM/GPRS modems which will need physical and expensive replacement with 3G/4G modems.

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Vodafone’s major milestone in building network of the future

11 Jul 2015

Vodafone’s major core network milestone sees it promising an enhanced 4G experience for reliable downloads, uploads and streaming, with the next step a vault towards VoLTE.

As the days of Vodafail pale into the recesses of our memories, Vodafone’s network has been steadily improving, especially when it comes to the 4G side of things.

Part of the global Vodafone telco empire, its Australian division has now announced that, as part of reaching a major milestone in its core network upgrade, all of its customers are now using the new network for 4G data sessions.

Presumably due to that 4G caveat, 3G and 2G customers are still using the old network for 2G and 3G data sessions, but with 4G the focus for most individuals and business users in the areas that Vodafone offers 4G coverage, this is good news.

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Telstra to boost mobile investment to $5bn

09 Jul 2015

Will increase 4G coverage to 2.5 million km2.

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn has committed to investing more than $5 billion in the telco's mobile network over the next three years during his first major speech since taking the job.

At a CEDA event in Sydney today, Penn said Telstra would use the investment to expand its 4G footprint to 2.5 million square kilometres. Telstra typically spends around $1 billion a year on its network.

Rival Optus in May said it would up its infrastructure spend to $1.8 billion over the coming year to increase its share in the fixed-line market.

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Rural dwellers employ elaborate setups for internet

07 Jul 2015

Rural residents are spending thousands of dollars on aerials and repeaters while paying large amounts of money for internet plans with small usage allowances, despite the NBN rollout and the government's efforts to address mobile blackspots.

In a submission to the Department of Communications’ regional telecommunications review. web developer Glyn O’Keefe, a resident of north-eastern Victoria, described spending approximately $2000 on an external aerial and a repeater to receive mobile phone and wireless internet signals.

“The speed is adequate, but the maximum we are able to receive is 15 gigabytes, and that costs just over $100 per month,” O’Keefe said.

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More Telstra towers planned to boost coverage in Broken Hill

06 Jul 2015

As negotiations drag on around plans for a third communications tower in Broken Hill, a Telstra spokesman says the company will soon apply for approval to build a fourth.

Council last month rejected the telco's bid to relax radiation monitoring requirements for its planned McCulloch Street tower, a move the company could appeal.

But spokesman Scott Curtin said a city the size of Broken Hill needs four towers for adequate coverage, double the current number.

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