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Mid November Update

17 Nov 2017

Optus is just on fire, Activating a stunning 45 sites in the past fortnight, with 13 in VIC and 10 in NT. The sites in NT and remote SA are all small cell sites with satellite backhaul although offering limited range can cover a very small town quite well. Optus also managed to upgrade a further 93 sites with 4G2100 being mostly deployed however a few sites also got other bands including 4G700 as well as 4G1800 in TAS.

Telstra managed 10 new sites as well as 48 site upgrades, the new sites were mostly rural and the upgrades continued Telstra’s 4G700 rollout along with some 4G2600. Telstra continues to propose 4G900 upgrades adding to their IOT network utilising the spectrum it freed after the 2G switch off. 

Vodafone appears to be taking another breather with only 4 new sites and 16 site upgrades. The upgrades contained mostly 4G850 and 4G2100 with Vodafone also proposing many more 4G2100 upgrades as well. It appears Vodafone will focus on completing their 4G2100 rollout before moving onto 4G700 as they have not proposed any more of those.

TPG added one more proposal in ACT bringing their proposed site count up to 25. So far ACT, VIC and NSW are the only states. I believe their intention is to switch on ACT first.

NBN has also been busy with 13 new sites as well as 3 new site proposals, as well as 5 site upgrades. Outer metro areas are clearly becoming the main focus with a few straggling rural sites in the mix.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has increased by 13 sites as Optus adds a boat load of new sites to is network. Optus is still ahead of Telstra in 4G700 by 1015 sites.

Optus launches 20 new mobile sites across NT

16 Nov 2017

Optus has launched 20 new mobile sites in the Northern Territory, across regional and remote areas.

The telco said each site would use its satellite infrastructure and small cell technology so that fast deployment was made possible.

The 20 sites are funded by Optus and the territory and federal governments, through the latter's Mobile Black Spot Programme.

The sites are:

Optus standalone network investment programme:

TI Tree, Elliott, Aileron Roadhouse, Renner Springs, Curtin Springs, Erldunda, 3 Ways, Wycliffe Well, Daly Waters, Barkly Homestead, Wauchope Hotel, Barrow Creek.

Federal Government Mobile Black Spot programme:

Gem Tree, Devils Marbles Hotel, Kings Creek Station, Kings Canyon Resort, Stuarts Well Road House, Mary River Road House, Victoria River Road House, Cape Crawford.

To continue reading the article: click here. (

Survey to find mobile demand

16 Nov 2017

From the centre of many of our villages to portions of the Mid-western highway, mobile coverage in parts of the Blayney Shire is less than perfect, and Blayney Shire Council wants residents to help build a case for having them improved.

General manager of Blayney Shire Council, Rebecca Ryan, said that in order to present the mobile network operators and government with a decent business case, they need a better idea of what the demand is. 

“There are areas that we know are problematic as reported by the local village committees, progress associations or the RFS,” Ms Ryan said, “but we need to show the mobile operators the demand for the use of mobile technology for business, farming and recreational purposes across the area.”

As locals we already know of many of the black spots, and when to leave the phone in the car, but for tourists, Blayney mayor Scott Ferguson said, the lack of connectivity can be a frustrating and dispiriting experience.

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Mount Chalmers: Telstra delivers 50th black spot site

16 Nov 2017

TELSTRA’s rollout of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) has reached a significant milestone in Queensland.

The former gold mining town Mount Chalmers, north of Rockhampton, is home to Queensland’s 50th black spot site deployed by Telstra under the MBSP.

Telstra area general manager Rachel Cliffe said it was a significant moment for the Mt Chalmers community and for Queensland.

“We have now rolled out 50 new mobile stations in this state and they are among more than 200 locations across Australia who are now benefitting from more mobile coverage through Telstra’s delivery of the Mobile Black Spot Program,” Ms Cliffe said.

“The new mobile base station at Mt Chalmers delivers Telstra’s 3G and state of the art 4GX mobile data services to the region for the first time.

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Telstra fixes notorious CQ phone blackspot

15 Nov 2017

A NOTORIOUS Mount Chalmers blackspot is no more following a milestone move from Telstra.

The township has benefited as round one of the telecommunications giant's black spot program sweeps the country.

Federal MP for Capricornia, Michelle Landry has fought for better communications in the region since her election in 2013.

She said the completion of the new tower was great news for the township as well as the thousand plus vehicles that travel through the area each day.

"This base station will address a known black spot that Livingstone Shire Council estimates affects approximately 114 occupied properties in the area, comprising of farming, grazing and residential homes,” Ms Landry said yesterday.

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Telstra base station connects APY Lands to the digital world

15 Nov 2017

ONE of the most remote parts of South Australia and the nation is now fully connected to the digital world, following the installation of a Telstra base station at the tiny Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands settlement of Amata.

The town of around 300 people, 1400km from Adelaide and 723 from Uluru, now has both 3G and 4G mobile-device coverage through the conversion of a 1990s-built tower originally designed to provide basic telephone services via radio link.

Amata is the first of six APY sites to receive the infrastructure under the Federal Government’s mobile black spot program, under which Telstra is installing 577 remote-area base stations around the nation at a cost of $229 million.

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Mobile phone tower installed at Goolma

15 Nov 2017

The 200-person village of Goolma is soon be connected with the rest of the world following the construction of a much-needed mobile phone tower.

Construction of the tower 40 kilometres north-west of Wellington began mid-October and is funded under Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, said testing of the Goolma mobile phone tower is currently being conducted by Telstra and will be switched on soon.

“Goolma tower is one of the 499 new and improved base stations identified as part of Round 1, which are delivering new and improved coverage to 25,500 homes and businesses across 68,600 sq km of handheld coverage and 5700 kilometres of major transport route coverage across Australia,” Mr Gee said.

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Towamba residents mark Mobile Black Spot Program with sausage sizzle

10 Nov 2017

Nothing launches a new phone tower like a sausage sizzle and casual get together at a community hall.

Such an event took place at Towamba on Thursday morning as Bega Valley Shire councillor Sharon Tapscott and Telstra community engagement specialist Ann Jakle and her Telstra team from Canberra met with local residents at the community hall.

Despite the phone tower being active for most of spring, Towamba residents still came together to acknowledge the infrastructure as part of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

Cr Tapscott celebrated the occasion my presenting a speech from her iPad using the improved technology.

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The State of LTE (November 2017)

10 Nov 2017

No country has yet cracked 50 Mbps
Though individual operators have broken the 50-Mbps barrier for average 4G download speeds, we're still waiting for the first country to consistently provide LTE connections greater than 50 Mbps. South Korea and Singapore are the closest, averaging 45.9 Mbps and 46.6 Mbps respectively.

LTE's reach continues its quick growth
In this test period, 50 countries of the 77 countries we examined had 4G availability scores above 70%, compared to 33 countries just six months ago. That means 4G users in those 50 countries were able to latch onto an LTE signal in more than 7 our every 10 attempts. It's a sign that 4G has reached maturity in many more countries.

4G speeds have stalled in the top-performing countries
While LTE availability is increasing worldwide, the same can't be said for LTE speeds. No new country has joined the 40-Mbps club since our last report, and the number of countries that averaged speeds greater than 20 Mbps has fallen, rather than increased.

The average 4G download is now 16.6 Mbps
Despite the fall off in speeds among the top countries, the global average 4G download did increase slightly from 16.2 Mbps to 16.6 Mbps in the last six months. A huge influx of new 4G users in developing countries is lifting LTE speeds in the bottom half of our rankings.

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Funding focus on mobile black spots and local charities throughout Goondiwindi

09 Nov 2017

Deputy leader of the Liberal National Party Deb Frecklington visited Goondiwindi on Wednesday to make some promising announcements.

The Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, State Development, Trade and Investment was joined by LNP candidate for Southern Downs James Lister.

Gathered under a mobile tower Ms Frecklington pledged $20 million, under the LNP Royalties for Regions plan, to fix mobile black spots in the bush.

Particularly in the Goondiwindi region many farmers and growers faced the issue of trying to run a business and attract staff in a mobile phone black spot.

“In this day and age people simply will not work in areas that cannot provide a means of communications.

“Our new deal to build a better future for regional Queenslanders is about delivering much needed infrastructure that improves the lives of families and retirees,” she said.

Mr Lister said the funding was part of LNP’s plan to better support local families and build a better QLD.

To continue reading the article: click here. (

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