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Improved mobile coverage for CH

10 Jun 2017
InTheNews

COMET and Capella will benefit from improved mobile phone coverage with 4G small cells to be installed over the next year.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch announced 39 locations across regional communities in Queensland earlier this month.

A small cell is a miniature version of a standard mobile base station. Each small cell will provide extra 4G mobile connectivity over a coverage footprint of approximately 200 to 300 metres.

The 4G small cells are in addition to 144 mobile base stations secured under the state's $24 million co-investment in the Australian Government's Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP), which have a coverage radius of 1-2 km or more. Mayor Cr Kerry Hayes said six sites in the Central Highlands had been approved under the MBSP program so far.

These sites are Takarakka Bush Camp, Carnarvon Wilderness Lodge, Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Centre, Fork Lagoons, Dingo and Bogantungan/Willows.

Fork Lagoons was completed in February 2017, while the remaining sites are expected to be on air by the end of the year.

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

Telcos get set for round two of the mobile black spot program

10 Jun 2017
InTheNews

The rollout of 266 new base stations is expected to be complete by October next year

Round two of the mobile black spot rollout will soon be in motion, with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all releasing indicative rollout schedules for the coming year.

All 266 round two base stations, contracted under agreements signed with the Australian Government through the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Program, are expected to be delivered by October 2018.

Minister for regional communications, Fiona Nash, has welcomed the release of indicative rollout schedules for mobile towers being delivered under this second phase of the Coalition Government’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program.

Nash also mentioned that a further $60 million has been committed to target specific priority locations which had not received a bid for a tower from a telecommunications company in the first two rounds, with a competitive process to allocate the funding expected to commence later this year.  

“Australians can now check online to get an indication of when their new local phone tower from rounds one and two of the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Program is expected to be up and running,” Nash said.

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

REROC double checking where the Riverina's mobile phone blackspots are

07 Jun 2017
InTheNews

Riverina farmers have welcomed moves to pressure governments and businesses into fixing mobile phone “blackspots”.

Gordon Hall said he barely got any coverage around his property near Ardlethan, despite promises something would be done about it.

“We’ve gone backwards in the past 15 years while the rest of the world has gone forwards,” Mr Hall said.

“Coverage is so essential, but the cities get all the attention while the need for phone services is greater out here.”

The Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC) has begun checking phone companies’ mobile phone coverage maps, in order to secure more blackspot funding from the federal government.

The idea is to present “real-world” data to local members who can then use it to argue for more funding under the federal government’s Mobile Blackspot Program.

“We want to work out where the actual blackspots are in our region,” REROC chief Julie Briggs said.

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

Vodafone aims to fix ACCC blunder

06 Jun 2017
VodafoneNews

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is to seek judicial review of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) draft decision to not declare a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service.

The ACCC’s draft decision to cave in to pressure from the government, Telstra, Optus and mis-informed local government and community groups has set the scene for the Federal Court to find the underlying rationale for the decision.

In a blog post VHA Chief Strategy Officer Dan Lloyd said “many people living in regional and rural areas currently have no choice about which mobile provider they use and that they are forced to pay more than they should for their service.”

The Federal Court action should provide an opportunity for the ACCC’s decision making process to be scrutinised and for the process that led to the decision to be made public.

The ACCC’s draft report is a mish-mash of contradictory statements, much of which supports a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service.

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

Appeal against mobile coverage decision welcomed by farming body worried about access to telecommunications

06 Jun 2017
InTheNews

The state’s farming representative body has welcomed service provider Vodafone’s appeal against a decision it says will lead to poorer mobile phone services in rural areas.

Vodafone has filed for a judicial review of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry into the possibility of a wholesale domestic roaming service, saying the process failed consumers.

Last month, the ACCC announced a draft decision that it would not declare a wholesale domestic roaming service, which would have given Telstra’s competitors access to its network at regulated prices.

Victorian Farmers Federation vice president Brett Hosking said the “digital divide” between residents of cities and rural areas would widen if domestic mobile roaming was refused.

“If there isn’t any real competition for service, our rural and regional communities will suffer because the choice will be limited to one provider – Telstra – and without any challenge to Telstra’s market dominance, we will keep paying higher prices for a poor service,” Mr Hosking said.

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

Blackspot sending Boreen Pt business broke

06 Jun 2017
TelstraNews

AN ANGRY Boreen Point resident has had enough of promises from Australia's largest phone network provider, claiming he's "going broke” not being able to make and receive business calls.

Peter Fryer said he was on the brink of closing his 20-year home business due to his house being located in a "black spot” not covered by Telstra reception.

Mr Fryer said he had been repeatedly reassured by Telstra representatives that equipment to boost reception would be installed soon, however nothing had changed despite beginning inquiries almost a year ago.

"Telstra advised me a new antenna was due late last year but, no, this did not happen,” he said.

"My business is going bust as I can't be contacted via phone. I pay $85 a month for no service. I asked for a refund, but no one can do this.

"The amount (of money) I've lost, it's getting close to closing the business now.”

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

New Optus mobile plans offer up to 100GB per month

05 Jun 2017
OptusNews

Premium My Plan options include monthly allowances to satisfy the heaviest mobile data users.

Are you sick of paying extra for exceeding your mobile data limit? Optus has launched new plans for you. Its new Premium My Plan Plus options include 30GB of data for $130 per month or 100GB for $160 per month.

On 24-month contracts, both business plans include unlimited standard national and international roaming talk and texts; unmetered streaming (iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, Netflix and Stan) and English Premier League coverage; pooled and shared data across up to five eligible devices (including mobile broadband dongles); and an optional new phone after 12 months for $99 with trade-in when recontracting for 24 months.

Roaming data in "selected countries" is included: 1.5GB per month on the $160 plan and 1GB on the $130 plan.

Customers on the $160 plan are promised fast-track customer service.

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

End Of May Update

04 Jun 2017
OzTowers

Optus appear to be expanding their new "4.5G" network with the activation of a bunch of, what look to be new small cell sites along Oxford Street, as well as other CBD locations around Sydney including more sites in the royal botanical gardens. 19 sites in all, appear to be these small cell sites having only 4G2600 with a few also having 3G2100 as well. Optus activated 39 sites in total, with 29 in NSW and 19 as part of their "4.5G" expansion. Optus also upgraded a further 35 sites right around the nation with 4G700 continuing to be the major focus.

Telstra activated an impressive 19 sites this fortnight with 7 in NSW alone, 5 of which were in conjunction with Optus and Vodafone and at Sydney Railway stations. Rural QLD also got some new sites with 3 rural small cell sites also being activated. Telstra Upgraded 45 further sites mostly along the east coast, with 4G700 being the main focus but also a spattering of other bands. Telstra also proposed 133 site upgrades with 62 in QLD alone and what looks to be a future “4.5G” rollout around Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Vodafone activated 9 new sites with most being part of the NSW rail project mentioned above. Vodafone also upgraded a further 33 sites with 16 alone in VIC, 4G1200 was the major focus but also a few sites continue to be upgraded with 4G850 as well.

NBN activated 19 new sites with 9 sites also receiving upgrades. This writer also noted that the NBN tower I will be connecting to late 2020 is now standing. There are no antennas or equipment yet and given NBN's fixed wireless network is ahead of schedule I would hope I get connected earlier than late 2020.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has decreased by 10 sites as Telstra continues to plod along. Optus is still ahead of Telstra however in 4G700 by 1083 sites.

Telstra and Keay dispute launch date for Sisters Beach mobile tower

04 Jun 2017
TelstraNews

Telstra denies it said when a mobile phone tower in Sisters Beach would be switched on, but emails to a Labor MP’s office suggest otherwise.

Federal Braddon MP Justine Keay said she twice received advice from Telstra that the Sisters Beach tower would be launched May 19.

She said Sisters Beach residents “have been waiting too long for their mobile phone reception to get fixed”.

The tower will provide 3G and 4G mobile coverage to a large part of the region once completed.

It is part of the national rollout of the Mobile Black Spot Program.

Telstra said at no stage did it communicate a switch-on date for the Sisters Beach tower that Ms Keay has been talking about.

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

Vodafone launches legal action over mobile roaming

04 Jun 2017
VodafoneNews

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is yet to finalise its decision on whether to regulate domestic mobile roaming, but Vodafone Hutchison Australia has already launched legal action over the issue.

Last month the ACCC issued a draft decision that it would not declare a wholesale mobile roaming service. If a service was to be declared, the ACCC could force telcos such as Telstra to allow rivals, such as Vodafone, to use their mobile network infrastructure.

Vodafone has stridently argued for mobile roaming, which would enable it to offer services in parts of regional Australia that its own network does not cover.

“Australian mobile phone users will continue to pay too much and suffer poor coverage in regional areas” as a result of the ACCC’s draft decision, the telco said in a statement issued today.

Vodafone is seeking judicial review of the ACCC’s inquiry process. The telco yesterday lodged its application with the Federal Court.

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

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