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Mid September Update

19 Sep 2015

The biggest news for the past two weeks has been Vodafone activating 38 new towers! Focusing mostly in metro areas as expected, however a few major rural centers like Albury/Wodonga, Mackay and Townsville also received new towers. Vodafone also continues their 4G 2100Mhz upgrade around the cairns area. This appears to be a major shift in focus by Vodafone, as they appear to be adding capacity to densely populated areas and/or filling a few gaps in their coverage. Telstra and Optus added 6 and 13 new sites respectively with their main focus continuing to be upgrades to existing towers.

Telstra took the top of the leader board for upgrades upgrading 127 sites, with their main focus being their 700Mhz roll out with both metro and rural areas getting upgrades. Optus upgraded 109 sites their 700Mhz rollout appears to be slowing with 2600 and 2300 bands becoming more of a focal point. Optus also passed the 4000 4G tower mark, Telstra announced over 5000 towers this week which is 1300 short of what is showing in the rfnsa data. Telstra's data may well be the least accurate and perhaps the 4G 1800 additions being added were activated long ago and only now are telstra getting around to reporting it.

Numbers I have seen from both Vodafone and Optus have been much much closer well under 10% margin of error. I expect as Telstra catches up on their reporting that these numbers will become more accurate, the trends are still fairly well established. Vodafone also upgraded 84 sites in this period, with 4G 850 still remaining the main focus with 4G 1800 also getting some attention.

Due to the above statement, the total 4G gaps are probably not accurate, however the low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra's has closed slightly to 1292 by 23 sites, this shows Telstra ramping up as expected.

NBN's pace has slowed somewhat activating 11 towers for the 2 week period and adding an additional 1 additional proposal bringing their total to 1736 active and proposed. All of the activation's were for 2300mhz.

Telstra brings world's first 600Mbps device to Australia

16 Sep 2015

To show off quality of mobile network.

Telstra has brought the world's first 600Mbps-capable device to Australia, in a show of muscle for its mobile network.

The Telstra WiFi 4GX Advanced III Mobile Broadband Hotspot, manufactured in partnership with Netgear, Ericsson and Qualcomm, is the world's first 4G LTE Advanced Category 11 device. The telco said that the improvements in its mobile network to support Cat 11 gear is "really designed to boost network capacity".

"Speed is all about the overall network, not just an individual user," Telstra networks general managing director Mike Wright told a briefing today in Sydney.

At the press event, Telstra staff performed a live demonstration showing actual download speeds going up to 503Mbps. In a video, a speed of over 440Mbps was recorded outdoors in the western Sydney suburb of Harris Park.

To continue reading the article: click here. (

Telstra claims Aussie first with 4G voice calls

16 Sep 2015

'Voice over LTE' maintains 4G connection during calls.

Telstra has claimed an Australian-first with Voice over LTE, an offering that allows mobile users to remain on the 4G network during voice calls.

Telstra networks general managing director Mike Wright called the change "one of the largest and most complex changes to voice calling" in more than 40 years.

"VoLTE is the next generation of how voice calls are carried over our network. In those 4G areas where VoLTE has been enabled, when customers make a voice call on a VoLTE enabled handset, the call is integrated into the 4G LTE data stream rather than the previous arrangement of reverting back to 3G," said Wright.

"This means voice and data stay on the same part of the network, therefore delivering faster data access while using the internet as well as super-fast call set up times."

To continue reading the article: click here. (

ACMA’s 1800MHz November 2015 auction: applications open

15 Sep 2015

ACMA’s auction of spectrum licenses in the 1800MHz band is due November, with 147 lots of spectrum ‘to be offered simultaneously using an online auction methodology.’

Applications are now open for participants interested in 1800MHz spectrum licenses, with ACMA stating it ‘will auction spectrum in markets throughout regional Australia in the ranges 1725-1785 MHz and 1820–1880 MHz, as well as residual spectrum from the recently-completed reissue of expiring spectrum licences in the band.’

ACMA anticipates widespread interest in the band, which is ‘internationally-harmonised for mobile broadband applications.’

To continue reading the article: click here. (

Telcos invited to apply for spot in 1800MHz spectrum auction

11 Sep 2015

ACMA opens process.

The communications regulator has opened applications for participation in the country's auction of 1800MHz spectrum in regional areas, releasing details of the starting prices for all lots to go on sale.

Earlier this year the Australian Communications and Media Authority revealed it would impose limits on the amount of spectrum able to be purchased by one entity.

Bidders can only buy a maximum of 2 X 25MHz chunks of spectrum out of the 2 X 60MHz for sale.

To continue reading the article: click here. (

WA grants major planning exemptions for mobile phone towers

10 Sep 2015

The West Australian government has granted significant new planning exemptions for telecommunications equipment ahead of the rollout of the NBN’s multi-technology mix network.

The new rules cover communications structures visible above ground level, including NBN fixed wireless transmitters, mobile phone towers, enterprise-owned radio equipment or microwave links, and amateur radio equipment.

Known as state planning policy 5.2, the regulations have been welcomed by mobile phone carriers. They override local planning laws, and prevent local councils from banning telecommunications equipment as an acceptable land use in any zone.

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End Of August Update

07 Sep 2015

In the past 2 weeks, the battle for 700mhz intensifies between Optus and Telstra with Telstra rolling out 700mhz at around the same speed as Optus, but still significantly behind. Telstra upgraded 63 sites while Optus upgraded 58 and Vodafone 40, with Vodafone completing their main network upgrade push its not surprising they are now starting to fall behind. For new tower activation's telstra has 4 new towers, vodafone 8 new towers and optus activating 13 new towers in the past 2 weeks.

The 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has closed by a further 11 towers since the last update bringing the gap to 315. In low band 4G however despite Telstra's effort, Optus has very slightly out paced Telstra increasing the gap by 3 towers to a total of 1315 more 700Mhz 4G towers than Telstra. Telstra is continuing to roll out 4G 1800mhz which explains why they are closing the 4G gap but still loosing ground with low band 4G.

NBN's pace has picked up somewhat activating 22 towers for the 2 week period and adding an additional 12 proposals bringing their total to 1735 active and proposed. All of the activation's were for 2300mhz.

Telstra battles use of illegal repeater

06 Sep 2015

POOR mobile phone coverage throughout the Biloela region isn't Telstra's mistake - instead, a customer using an illegal repeater is to blame.

To make the situation even more bitter, the customer has been contacted to remove the device but has refused, causing further reception disruptions to other customers.

A Telstra spokesperson said further action had been taken against the offender.

"We are aware of an external interference issue in the area and are pursuing the issue with the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) with a view to take action," the spokesperson said.

"People use repeaters to improve their own mobile signal but they may not realise that it's illegal or that it's also interfering with the mobile coverage for the wider community.

To continue reading the article: click here. (

Optus switches on 4G+ in Melbourne

03 Sep 2015

Telecommunications provider Optus has announced that its 4G+ network, combining one frequency-division duplex (FDD) and two time-division duplex (TDD) LTE spectrum bands, is now live in the Melbourne CBD.

The news follows the telco last month partnering with Chinese tech giant Huawei to switch on its 4G+ carrier aggregation network in Newcastle suburbs Lambton, Mayfield, and Mayfield West, with plans to launch in the Sydney CBD in early 2016, and in Brisbane and Adelaide from mid-2016.

To continue reading the article: click here. (

Will NBN satillite end up as slow or slower than it is now?

02 Sep 2015

It has been widely stated that the new skymuster satellites will provide a total capacity of 135 gigabits per second to up to 400,000 residence at speeds of 25mbps down and 5mbps up.

Sounds impressive right? but what about peak periods? just how much bandwidth does that equate to? Lets do the maths...

135 gigabits = 138240 megabits
138240 megabits / 400,000 residence = 0.3456 megabits per second
or 353.8944 kilobits per second which is 155.52 megabytes per hour

Now we all know only 1 in 10 people will be watching netflix at 7pm in the evening, so that means there should be 3.456 megabits per second available which is just enough for HD streaming.

Your results may vary, I'd be getting my netflix fix in sooner before the satellites get loaded up.

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