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Expressions of interest called for telecommunications upgrade on Central Coast rail line

28 Sep 2017
InTheNews

Thousands of Central Coast rail commuters are a step closer to uninterrupted mobile and internet coverage after the Federal Government called for expressions of interest in the $16 million telecommunications upgrade between Sydney and the Central Coast .

The announcementtoday was made jointly by Robertson Federal Liberal MP Lucy Wicks and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.

The upgrade seeks to end the notoriusly dodgy coverage along the 60km stretch of rail line between Wyong and Hornsby which is plagued with drop outs and black spots.

It is the next phase of delivering the government’s 2016 election promise.

A total funding commitment of $16 million includes $4 million from the NSW Government.

The total package will deliver improved mobile coverage as well as provide Wi-Fi at train stations for up to 30,000 Central Coast commuters who travel on Sydney Trains and NSW Trainlink services each day.

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

Second most popular location for Stawell SES rescue call-outs a mobile blackspot area

28 Sep 2017
InTheNews

Poor phone reception has again emerged as a problem for Stawell State Emergency Service after headquarters could not make contact with personnel out on a job at MacKenzie Falls on Monday.

Stawell SES received a request for assistance about 2pm for a woman, 38, who had fallen and broken her ankle at the bottom of MacKenzie Falls in the Grampians National Park. 

But when the rescue was underway Stawell SES duty officer Jenny Rooke said she could not make contact with SES members at the site.

“We couldn’t call anyone on our radios- there was no phone reception,” she said.

“So we had to follow what was happening by listening to the police scanner.

“MacKenzie Falls is a bad one- you can never seem to get good reception.”

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

Telcos using few NBN Co fixed-wireless towers

26 Sep 2017
NbnNews

Australian telecommunications companies have co-located equipment only on a few of the NBN Co's fixed wireless towers so far, the company says.

While 71 sites are in the process of having equipment installed, Telstra is already using seven sites and Optus two.

There are a total of 1600 fixed-wireless towers which belong to the NBN Co.

There have been complaints from users that the fixed wireless speeds are worse than ADSL.

NBN Co wants retail service providers to use its fixed-wireless towers so they can resell the company's fixed-wireless plans, rather than their own plans.

The company told the Senate's Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network that of the 71 sites, nine fixed-wireless base stations had active access seeker equipment co-located.

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

NBN defends its network, says few retail applications need over 50Mbps

26 Sep 2017
NbnNews

National Broadband Network (NBN) chief strategy officer JB Rousselot has defended the multi-technology mix of the NBN, stating it will "definitely" handle current bandwidth needs.

"The network that we are building today -- that delivers 25Mbps to everybody and 50Mbps to most, and up to 100Mbps to many of the premises -- definitely caters for the applications of today," Rousselot told the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) National Conference on Thursday.

"Today, about 83 percent of customers that take on a service on NBN select a 12Mbps or 25Mbps service, and there are few retail use cases or retail applications that require more than 50Mbps.

"So the network that we are building today definitely answers the needs of the community today, and probably well into 2020 and beyond."

Rousselot reiterated NBN's approach to upgrading its technology mix, stating that the company will upgrade when it sees demand for faster speeds.

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

City of Wanneroo revises telecommunications infrastructure policy

26 Sep 2017
TelstraNews

CITY of Wanneroo has revised its telecommunications infrastructure policy, replacing the 2013 version with one that requires smaller consultation areas.

The draft policy attracted three submissions during public consultation late last year, from VisionStream, Telstra and Planning Solutions on behalf of the Mobile Carriers Forum.

The Telstra submission said the policy was “overly prescriptive” and should “encourage innovation” in infrastructure design and location.

“Objective one should also specifically reference comprehensive and reliable coverage particularly in bushfire-prone areas or other locations where communications for emergency response are essential,” it said.

As a result of submissions and site inspections of existing infrastructure in Wanneroo and Darch, the administration adjusted the consultation radius for different types of structures.

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

Telstra eyes simpler 5G and IoT rollouts

24 Sep 2017
TelstraNews

Backs changes to what is considered 'low impact'.

Telstra has thrown its support behind planned changes to the rules around installing ‘low impact’ telecommunications equipment, believing they could assist with its 5G and IoT network rollouts.

The changes were proposed back in June and, if approved, would help telcos raise the height of mobile towers, install new types of antennas and dishes, and deploy cabinets and cables more easily without requiring state or local planning permits.

Some of the proposed changes are designed to help NBN Co complete its network - a bone of contention for some who believe any rules should benefit the entire industry.

However, most telcos would benefit if the so-called low-impact facilities determination (LIFD) is amended, and Telstra is the latest to back the plan.

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

Push to improve rural mobile services

22 Sep 2017
TelstraNews

Mobile black spots could cost lives this fire season and Telstra is being urged to improve services in rural and regional Victoria.

Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has joined forces with Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie to push the government for more commitment to rural mobile phone services ahead of the fire season.

The issue of mobile phone black spots in Benalla has been highlighted in recent weeks after Mayor Don Firth suffered a heart attack and was unable to contact emergency services.

Faced with no other option, Cr Firth was forced to drive himself to hospital, which is against the advice of ambulance services.

Should someone need to report a fire, the time lost in attempting to get a phone signal could allow a small incident to turn into a major one.

In seconding Ms Sharkie’s bill to compel Telstra to provide 24-hour back-up power to towers in bushfire prone areas, Ms McGowan pushed for more funding to address outstanding mobile black spots.

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

Mid September Update

22 Sep 2017
OzTowersMonthly

Telstra continues unchanged this fortnight with 15 new sites 8 alone in WA as Telstra continues to deploy its blackspot sites, Telstra also proposed 13 new sites. Telstra also upgraded a further 87 sites with 57 alone in NSW, 4G700 continues to be the focus. However, Telstra also proposed upgrades to a further 150 sites, mostly in NSW with proposals for 4G900 and 4G2600 indicating a wider rollout of those bands including their new IOT (Internet of Things) network on the 4G900 band.

Optus again continues its new tower deployment with a further 28 new sites mostly in the eastern states.  Optus appears to have slowed down on their site upgrades only upgrading a further 39 sites however with 75 additional proposals Optus appears to be gearing up to widely deploy 4G1800 in rural areas and 4G2600 in metro with a spattering of 4G2100.

After a promising boost in the last report Vodafone has dropped off again with 10 new sites and 15 upgrades. Vodafone continues to deploy mostly 4G2100 with no mention of their 4G700 rollout thus far. All Vodafone’s new sites apart from one blackspot site was in conjunction with Optus.

NBN activated 12 new sites and upgraded a further 9 sites. NBN is still proposing new sites with this fortnight adding 1 new rural site proposal.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has seen an even bigger change than last time with the gap narrowing by a further 58 sites. Optus appears to have completed the bulk of their 4G700 rollout, however Optus is still ahead of Telstra in 4G700 by 993 sites but that gap will close very quickly if this rate continues. Telstra may catch Optus sometime around Q2 next year at this rate.

PennyTel switches mobile network from Vodafone to Telstra 4G

21 Sep 2017
TelstraNews

Mobile virtual network operator PennyTel is switching from Vodafone to Telstra’s 4G network and encouraging users to choose new plans and replace their SIM cards.

The new plans will include unlimited calls and SMS and more data, while the $0 monthly plans will be phased out and the 2G network will also be shut down as part of the move. The voice over internet protocol (VoiP) service remains unaffected.

As part of a promotion, customers who migrate their plans to the new network will get 50 percent off their first three months.

Customers that do not migrate, cancel or port out their service within 30 days after receiving the first notification will have their service suspended and their phone number quarantined.

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

NT govt spends 'millions' moving telco cables

21 Sep 2017
InTheNews

State agencies decry sloppy rollouts.

The Northern Territory government has been left “millions” of dollars out of pocket protecting or relocating poorly-placed telecommunications cables installed near its roads.

It is one of several state and territory agencies to condemn plans to make it even easier for telcos to install equipment and cables on or near government-owned assets, such as roads and bridges.

Others to raise concerns include NSW Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Transport and VicRoads.

Together, they accuse telcos of compromising the safety of critical infrastructure and call for greater oversight in the process rather than a further relaxation of rules around what equipment telcos can install outside of local and state planning laws.

The NT’s Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics revealed at least 15 instances where it had been forced to shell out “millions” in taxpayer funds to move telecommunications equipment installed around roadways.

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

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