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Regional mobile coverage improving as blackspots steadily disappear

17 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

Mobile blackspots in rural and regional Australia are slowly disappearing, with residents gaining improved and reliable mobile phone services as the country’s largest telco, Telstra, activates new mobile base stations in remote areas.

Telstra has just announced it has activated its 100th mobile base station under the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).

This latest station in the small Victorian town of Culla, in the state’s Southern Grampians region, is the 100th blackspot site out of 577 where base stations are being deployed by Telstra under the MBSP.

Residents and businesses in regional areas are already benefitting due to the more than 50,000 square kilometres of new or improved mobile coverage under the $486 million co-investment in the blackspot programme by Telstra and the federal government.

Telstra said the rollout of mobile base stations would ramp up even further over the rest of the year.

The 100th milestone was announced on Thursday by Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn at Culla with the Federal Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash and local MP Dan Tehan.

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

Roaming services for mobile phone users – Valley residents take note

17 Mar 2017
InTheNews

Local David Wallin said he became aware of the importance of mobile phones recently when businesses started using apps to get confirmation of appointments.
Luke Hartsuyker has lodged a submission with the ACCC, opposing moves to declare roaming. Attached is his submission.

Luke Hartsuyker has lodged a submission with the ACCC, opposing moves to declare roaming. Attached is his submission.

“If the mobile phone service is patchy, it is easy to miss an important call,” he said.

Mr Wallin said he has been closely following the review by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) into mobile phone roaming for some time.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is conducting an inquiry into whether to declare a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service.

A mobile roaming service allows mobile subscribers of one network to use their mobile phones for calls, text messages and to access data services by means of another network in Australia, when they are outside the coverage area of the network to which they subscribe.

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

Telstra activates its 100th Australian mobile black spot station

16 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

Even more mobile coverage for regional Australians on tap, with more to come.

Telstra has announced that it has hit a particular milestone in its work with the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot program, with the 100th base station going live at Culla, in Victoria’s Southern Grampians district. Telstra claims that collectively it has already delivered enhanced coverage to over 50,000 square kilometres of new or improved mobile coverage as part of the scheme.

"The coverage we have already delivered under this program would cover entire nations like Switzerland, Denmark or Costa Rica, and it is set to grow rapidly in the coming months," said Telstra CEO Andrew Penn in a statement.

Telstra is on track to deliver some 577 mobile black spot station sites to improve mobile coverage across Australia, with the company pursuing an aggressive rollout strategy.

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

SpeedCast reconnecting Christmas Island

16 Mar 2017
InTheNews

Christmas Island's local ISP stopped providing services at the beginning of this month, but SpeedCast International has stepped in to fill the gap until NBN services are more widely deployed on the island.

An agreement between the Australian Government and SpeedCast will see the latter delivering wireless and 4G network services on Christmas Island until 30 June, providing a transition period while NBN services to be installed more widely on the island.

"SpeedCast has extensive experience in remote locations around the world and is proud to support Christmas Island by maintaining connectivity for its residents and local businesses," said SpeedCast executive vice-president for enterprise and emerging markets Andrew Burdall.

"A team from SpeedCast will be deployed to Christmas Island this week to oversee the change and revitalise the local internet infrastructure."

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

Telstra faces $546m loss from ACCC's mobile roaming decision

16 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

Regulating domestic mobile roaming could leave a $550 million hole in Telstra’s pocket as the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission gets ready to hand down its decision in April.

The warning comes from Goldman Sachs, which said that the incumbent telco’s mobile business could end up losing $546m in full-year earnings for fiscal 2018 if domestic roaming is mandated by the competition regulator.

With a mobile network covering 99.3 per cent of the population Telstra continues to leverage its reach to charge its metro and country customers a hefty premium on its services.

According to Vodafone Hutchison Australia, the key instigator of the latest discussion around roaming, Telstra mobile customers in regional areas pay a price premium of $10 a month for prepaid and more than $4 a month for postpaid services. The total premium paid by Telstra customers each year for mobile services is pegged at $1.4 billion.

Mandated domestic roaming threatens to dismantle Telstra’s coverage advantage and Goldman Sachs analyst Kane Hannan warned it’s a blow that the telco can ill afford at a time when its core fixed-line business is feeling the pinch.

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

Mini-VODAFAIL hits Australia

16 Mar 2017
VodafoneNews

In the year 2010, Vodafone Australia's networks suddenly became horribly unreliable. Dropped calls became common, outages semi-regular.

Now the carrier has again experienced a too-big-to-miss network issue, after customers Australia-wide struggled to make calls today.

Your correspondent couldn't make calls from around 12:00 to 14:00, despite my phone rating radio signal at four out of five bars.

The carrier quickly moved to assure customers all would soon be well.

To continue reading the article: click here. (theregister.co.uk)

Completed mobile black spot tower at Wherrol Flat still not on air

14 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

Even though construction of the mobile black spot tower at Wherrol Flat has been completed, nearby residents still do not have mobile reception.

The tower is one of 429 new and upgraded mobile base stations being delivered in round one by the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, in partnership with Telstra.

Construction of the Wherrol Flat tower was completed in September 2016, and was originally scheduled to go ‘on air’ in the last three months of 2017.

A month ago, Telstra’s information site on the round one rollout showed the expected on air date for the tower had been deferred until quarter one, 2017. Now, the site says the on air date has been pushed back until quarter two, 2017.

Wherrol Flat resident, Dr Phil Rayson said the community was led to believe the problem is a lack of power supply to the tower.

He wrote to Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie seeking answers as to why the on air date for the tower keeps being deferred when there is a power line a mere 150 metres away from the tower.

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

Greater Hume Shire has change of heart on Burrumbuttock mobile phone tower site

14 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

GREATER Hume Shire has back-flipped on earlier opposition for the location of a mobile phone tower near the Burrumbuttock Hall.

The village was successful in being nominated for a tower in the federal government's $100 million mobile black spot program.

But council initially felt the hall site wasn't suitable due to its size and vehicle access to the back of the hall being restricted.

Two other sites on council owned land in Urana Road and Gibson Drive were put forward.

But the council has been informed by Telstra that due to “budgetary constraints” the hall site is the only one suitable because of its proximity to the existing exchange and central location.

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

Telstra hits out at rivals roaming plan

10 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

TELSTRA claims global telecommunications behemoth Vodafone is trying to grow its regional mobile network coverage on the cheap in Australia rather than paying serious money to help improve infrastructure.

The national telco, which services about 99.3 per cent of Australians through its dominant mobile network, claims Vodafone Hutchison Australia just wants access to Telstra and Optus networks and is hoodwinking remote Australians with its pitch for a domestic roaming service.

Vodafone wants regulators, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to allow domestic voice and data roaming so any mobile customers' connection can relay through any available rural network.

Telstra's transmitters would most likely handle the signal.

The roaming arrangement would work similarly to that which applies when making calls while travelling overseas.

"The density of population in many parts of Australia makes it impossible to justify multiple investors building infrastructure everywhere," Vodafone's chief executive officer Inaki Berroeta said while touring rural New South Wales in early February.

But Telstra's group executive for corporate affairs Tony Warren said Vodafone's claims were hogwash.

He said any telco could easily install its transmitter boxes on any Telstra tower in regional areas to expand its network coverage.

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

New for old: bush folk climb on to social trend

10 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

Older Australians living in regional and rural areas are more reliant on the internet and social media for maintaining their health and community links than their capital city counterparts.

They are also more likely to shop online and use social media to keep in contact with friends and family, and internet and ­social media to combat loneliness and depression, according to a survey from NSW not-for-profit aged care provider Whiddon.

However, the lack of mobile phone service in many regions and slow or unreliable National Broadband Network connections in others hampers retired older Australians as well as farmers and regional businesspeople.

Bob McCormack, 67, falls into all three camps. A grain grower and sheep producer at Marrar, 50km north of Wagga, NSW, he relies on a laptop, a tablet and a landline to his farmhouse to track when he should sell his grain, what weather is on the way and to order a tractor part.

The data speed on his internet connection and landline has been good for the past six months, since an NBN tower was built nearby. But despite being close to a thriving regional city, Mr McCormack and his wife Carolyn have no ­mobile reception on their farm, Lenton Park — unless they stand on top of a cattle loading ramp.

“Telstra won’t put a mobile tower in this area because they say there are not enough people; but more people won’t come and live here — or anywhere in ­regional Australia — unless they can have reliable mobile phone signal and seamless connectivity,” Mr McCormack said yesterday.

 

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

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