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Ericsson: 1 billion 5G subscriptions in 2023 predicted, with huge mobile data surge

29 Nov 2017

5G is going to rock our IoT net-connected socks off, surpassing predictions, and will reach 20% of the global population in six years time, as mobile data traffic grows 8x though video and more, using 110 exabytes per month.

With a forecast of one billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by 2023 being among the key statistics presented in the just-released November 2017 edition of the "Ericsson Mobility Report", the next six years will see amazing growth in 5G connectivity – as even better 5G starts arriving for the 80% of Planet Earth in the years thereafter.

We're also told that "LTE will be the dominant access technology by end of this year, driven by demand for improved user experience and faster networks", – especially with all that video content being viewed.

So, what's the detail Ericsson gave on the coming initial and ongoing 5G network deployment?

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Revealing the top mobile virtual network operators in Australia

28 Nov 2017

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) have re-emerged as the growth leaders in Australia for the first half of 2017.

The MVNO top performers were ALDImobile, amaysim and Kogan Mobile, according to research from Telsyte. That number is based on their net additions during the first half of the year.

The top four largest MVNOs are amaysim as number one followed by TPG, ALDImobile, and Vocus Group.

The analyst firm said Australians are looking for lower cost mobile plans, which led these MVNOs to register 200,000 new services in operation (SIO) collectively.

This figure saw the mobile network resellers beat the individual performance of Optus, Vodafone and Telstra, according Telsyte’s Australian Mobile Services Market Study FY2017.

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Government $1.9b sell-off may ignite digital bush “blackout”

25 Nov 2017

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Mitch Fifield has come under fire from regional wireless internet service providers for potentially allowing a public service to be sold-off to leave farmers and non-metropolitan Australians digitally disadvantaged.

Wireless Internet Service Provider Association of Australia (WISP-AU) President Michael Parnell said he understood the federal government was about to approve the $1.9 billion “fire-sale” of Australia’s 3.6 gigahertz spectrum (radio-wave frequency).

He also raised fears the Coalition was giving away too much legislative power to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to engineer the sell-off.

Mr Parnell said selling the 3.6g spectrum would force higher costs and slower speeds back onto regional consumers for the next decade, until the 7G service arrived.

He said it would also mean the latest farming machinery and equipment that’s 5G compatible wouldn’t work in Australia, lowering farm productivity.

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Small communities to get mobile service

25 Nov 2017

TELSTRA has plans to build a number of towers in the South Burnett in early 2018.

The South Burnett Regional Council voted to approve a 30m Telstra tower on the Gayndah Rd at Windera.

The Windera tower is one of five 4GX towers Telstra will build.

The others are to be built at Durong, Gordonbrook, Cherbourg and Tansey.

With help from the Federal Government's mobile blackspot funding, Telstra will spend about $490million to build 577 towers in the coming years.

"Over the past 10 years, about 15 per cent of our total capital investment has been in areas which cover the remotest two per cent of the population,” a Telstra spokesperson said.

Optus has two small cell towers in the works.

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Mobile service has been improved following the installation of a new tower at Burrumbuttock

25 Nov 2017

LOBBYING for better mobile phone service has paid off for residents of Burrumbuttock in southern NSW.

The rural township, which is in close proximity to major highways and thoroughfares, welcomed the addition of a new phone tower. 

Member for Farrer Sussan Ley was at Burrumbuttock on Friday and said it was terrific to hear the feedback from people in the town.

“I called into the shop and the pub and it was great to hear what people had to say,” she said.

Initially the funds to build the tower were pledged some two and a half years ago.

“This really is going to transform a small town and it is good for travellers,” Mrs Ley told the Eastern Riverina Chronicle. 

She said the local school at Burrumbuttock was attended by 30 pupils and the news was good for them too. 

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Mobile phone towers to be built in local black spots

24 Nov 2017

ANYONE who has driven south beyond Jervis Bay knows mobile phone coverage gets patchy before the turn off to Sussex Inlet.

In the upcoming year, the federal government will install a tower to ensure mobile coverage doesn’t drop out at Wandandian.

The Kangaroo Valley has also been listed in the government’s next round of funding for mobile phone towers.

These towers are two from 22 across the nation, and two more will be installed in Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis’ electorate – on the road between Batemans Bay and Braidwood at Clyde Mountain, and at East Lynne.

“These four long promised and important towers have been in the making for ages and will service some critical areas,” she said.

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Govt opens 'priority' mobile blackspots round

24 Nov 2017

Results due in several months.

The federal government has started fielding interest from telcos for the $60 million next tranche of its mobile blackspots program.

This is the third tranche of funding announced under the program, and brings the government’s total co-investment in mobile infrastructure expansion to $220 million.

The origin of the third tranche goes back to late 2014 when MPs in non-urban areas were invited to submit “priority locations” they believed were most in need of better mobile services.

From that exercise, the government compiled a list of 125 priority locations.

However, it has now been slimmed to 106 locations, because 19 are considered to have been serviced under rounds one and two of the blackspots program.

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Telstra closing in on halfway mark with mobile black spot rollout

24 Nov 2017

Telstra is gradually closing in on the halfway mark in its rollout of 577 new base stations to eradicate mobile black spots across regional Australia.

The country’s dominant telco announced on Thursday it had switched on its 250th base station — with more than 300 to go — as part of its programme to eliminate mobile phone black spots which still plague much of regional Australia.

The new base station will increase mobile coverage in the area between Winton and Cloncurry in central Queensland.

Telstra is building base stations across regional areas including 110 in Queensland, with the total national build representing $486 million worth of co-investment between the telco, the federal and state governments and numerous local councils.
On average, Telstra says that over the past 10 years, approximately 15% of its mobile network capital expenditure was made in remote and very remote parts of Australia, where approximately 2% of the population lives.

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Telstra nears black spot milestone

24 Nov 2017

Telstra is almost half way through lighting up 577 mobile base stations across regional Australia as part of the federal government’s mobile black spot program.

The telco today switched on its 250th base station. Situated along the Landsborough Highway in Queensland, it will mean better coverage along the road between Winton and Cloncurry.

Telstra is rolling out 110 base stations in Queensland.

Its boss, Andrew Penn, said the telco is committed to rolling out mobile infrastructure in regional Australia.

“As the birthplace of Qantas, Winton has a long history of keeping Australians connected through travel,” Mr Penn said.

“This new base station on the Landsborough Highway is bringing increased mobile coverage to both residents and to drivers who travel through the area.”

Telstra’s participation in two rounds of the black spot program has so far seen it roll out new mobile coverage to more than 130,000 square kilometres.

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Vodafone is rolling out WiFi calling to customers with compatible smartphones, including Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S8 range

24 Nov 2017

Vodafone has a surprise announcement this afternoon, telling customers in an email that Vodafone WiFi Calling is coming, starting progressively with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 range, and coming to Galaxy S8 and Apple iPhones soon.

At home or at work, we all know places where mobile reception isn’t too great, and Vodafone knows that buildings, concrete and more can interfere with your mobile’s ability to take and make calls. To address this, they’re starting WiFi Calling support from today.

According to Vodafone’s support article, WiFi Calling will only be available to postpaid customers with selected devices. In particular, customers will need to:

    Update their device with the latest software.
    Enable 4G Voice & Data (VoLTE) in device settings. See our device guides for instructions.
    Turn on Wi-Fi Calling in device settings. See our device guides for instructions.

If you’ve got a compatible device, you may be able to use this feature from today. For people with the following devices, you’ll need to wait a bit longer, with support promised by the end of 2017:

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