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Outback town William Creek enters 21st century with mobile reception

09 Mar 2017
OptusNews

Locals in the small outback town of William Creek — a 15-hour drive north of Adelaide — have never been able to use their phones to check the weather or scroll through social media.

Tourists passing through could not call emergency services or use online maps.

But this week, on the roof of local pilot Trevor Wright's hangar, a small satellite dish with a 1-metre antenna — similar to those used to access pay TV — has been installed.

However, locals are not using it to tune into reality television. Instead they are now able to pick up their mobiles and connect with the outside world.

For the first time, the town's residents and tourists passing through can use their mobile phones via the Optus 3G network.

It is part of the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot Program, an initiative to help deliver crucial telecommunications infrastructure to regional and remote areas across the country.

To see the site in question: click here.

To continue reading the article: click here. (abc.net.au)

Minister says 'no' to telecom tower

09 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

IT'S tough luck for those Upper Caboolture residents stuck in a telecommunications black spot, according to Ministerfor Regional Communications Fiona Nash.

For three years Neville Buck has lived and worked for Martin's Haven, an emergency housing not-for-profit organisation on Riflebird Dr.

"We provide emergency housing for people that want to rebuild their lives - we provide a fantastic service to people but since 2013 the reception has been abominable,” he said.

"Seven people live here and we have frequent visits from the emergency services, because some of the people living here have been released from prison.

"I need to be able to call the police or the ambulance if something happens.”

Fed up with hounding Telstra for upgrades, Mr Buck noticed a Caboolture News article about residents who fought for a new tower in Beachmere through the government's Mobile Black Spot Program.

Mr Buck said he had spoken to former Longman MP Wyatt Roy before the election about upgrading telecommunications in the area.

"Wyatt Roy was very sympathetic - he basically assured us that the tower will be upgraded,” he said.

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

Town slams council’s mobile tower proposal

09 Mar 2017
OptusNews

Ulverstone residents are fighting the Central Coast Council to prevent a cell tower being built on the banks of the Leven River.

A petition has been circulated with the community outraged by the council’s plans to build the Optus mobile tower at the showgrounds, adjacent to the river.

The tower, which according to plans will be a 30 metre monopole, is proposed to be built at the northern end of the showgrounds next to Legion Park and the dog facilities.

On the planning application notice is given for a telecommunications development on Flora Road.

While this is the street address of the showgrounds, resident Keith Beavis believes more clarity on signage should be provided to show people where on the grounds it will be built.

“When people see Flora Street they think something is happening way over there,” he said while pointing on to the distance.

“It is being built at the back of the showgrounds next to the park – across the road from all [of] these residents.”

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

NBN Co masters the fixed-to-wireless flip

06 Mar 2017
NbnNews

Promised FTTN, given fixed wireless.

NBN Co has flipped 62 towns that were destined to receive FTTN connections under its original three-year construction plan onto fixed wireless or satellite connections.

The trend is revealed via a reconstruction of the three-year plan by iTnews, and confirms fears that some customers with existing fixed-line connections aren’t able to keep them.

These fears were stoked in late January when NBN Co refused to disclose how many premises with existing ADSL connections would only be offered a satellite NBN connection.

Numbers of ADSL-to-NBN satellite conversions are extremely difficult to track.

However, it has become apparent that NBN Co is pushing users promised FTTN connections onto its fixed wireless network instead, affecting 59 towns on the original three-year plan.

A further three locations appear to have been given satellite connections instead.

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

New mobile coverage for Whicher Range

06 Mar 2017
InTheNews

NEWS of a mobile tower being installed in Yoganup to combat black spots has delighted Whicher Range Wines owner Cathy Howard who has suffered with poor reception for nearly 13 years. 

Construction of the mobile tower, expected to be completed before the end of 2019, is thanks to a further $20 million state government investment over two years as part of the Regional Telecommunications Project (RTP).

Mrs Howard said communications in and out of the winery were wishy-washy and she had to conduct calls from certain spots on her property to ensure she didn’t lose mobile signal.  

“From a safety point of view, the more mobile coverage there is in regional areas, the better,” she said. 

“It has been frustrating over the years to have phone technology improved but supporting infrastructure hasn’t kept up. It limits what you can do.”  

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

End Of February Update

05 Mar 2017
OzTowers

Telstra again leads the pack, with 10 new sites, 4 in VIC alone, as well as 50 site upgrades. Telstra also continues to make further proposals with 136 this fortnight alone bringing their proposals to over 600 for the year to date. 4G900 continues to be the focus inside their old 2G900 footprint, but 4G700 and less so 4G1800 is also included.

Optus continues to plod along with 8 new sites as well as 37 site upgrades. Optus hasn’t ramped up yet this year at all and their switch off of 2G is happening April 3rd for WA & NT, and August 1st for all other states. So, I suspect like Telstra, Optus will really ramp up post 2G switch off. Last year alone they had proposals for almost 1000 new towers, this year we have seen 50 new towers, but with new bands coming available perhaps that’s what Optus has been holding off for. New bands would include 4G900, 4G1800 rural, 4G3500 metro but also, I think we will see more 4G2100 deployed as well. 4G700 is 75% complete and 4G2600 is probably about that also, these bands may now play second fiddle to the newer bands becoming available. Optus also recently added their first 4G3500 tower to its network in preparation for their “LTE-advanced pro” or LTE-A enabled network. This is a stepping stone technology on the way to 5G, offering speeds above 1Gbps which Optus is calling 4.5G, and will eventually reach 70% of metropolitan areas in the next 12 months.

Nothing much has changed for Vodafone this fortnight with 7 new sites as well as 17 site upgrades. 4G850 continues to be the focus but also any other bands they haven’t yet deployed on some towers.

NBN activated 10 sites again all on the east side of Australia including SA, as well as upgrading a further 6 sites.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has decreased again by 16 sites as Telstra continues to ramp up. Optus is still ahead of Telstra however in 4G700 by 1070 sites, but Telstra is now consistently closing this gap.

Update: Optus has updated their 2G switchoff dates, please see above.

Residents fight to stop two 26m phone towers from going up, one at Semaphore, the other at Largs Bay

05 Mar 2017
InTheNews

Telstra and Henley Beach residents to battle out phone tower dispute in court

RESIDENTS have vowed to continue to fight plans for a phone tower on LeFevre Peninsula.

Vodafone wants to install a 26m tower with a 2.4m fence on Railway Tce.

While people are continuing to protest against a proposed tower on the corner of Semaphore Rd and Military Rd, Largs Bay locals have a battle of their own.

And, in nearby Henley Beach, Telstra is fighting to overturn a decision preventing it from putting up a 35m tower.

A Vodafone spokeswoman said the new tower was in response to customer demand and would boost phone and internet reception in the area.

Angry residents opposed the application at the council’s Development Assessment Panel (DAP) last June.

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

Optus, Huawei partner on the way to 5G introduction

03 Mar 2017
OptusNews

Optus and Huawei have teamed up to complete a successful in-field test of Massive MIMO (128T128R) technology, which they say helps pave the way for the introduction of 5G services in Australia.

The two companies say the trial, conducted last Sunday, achieved aggregate cell throughput of 665Mbps over a single frequency channel of 20MHz on Optus’ 2300MHz frequency band, shared by 16 devices.

Dennis Wong, managing director, Optus Networks, said: “Massive MIMO is an important technology enabler and lays the foundation for the upcoming 5G. We are proud to have successfully taken this next step towards 5G with our partner Huawei.

“Earlier this month, we launched the 4.5G network in Macquarie Park. Today’s announcement showcases our dedication to launching a world-class 5G network in Australia and shows how we are leading the field in testing the technology.”

According to Optus, the trial demonstrated an aggregated speed improvement of up to eight times of what is currently being experienced through existing 4G cell sites and significantly increased the cell site capacity within the same spectrum channel, to serve more users, especially for multimedia content delivery simultaneously.

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

Telstra and Henley Beach residents to battle out phone tower dispute in court

02 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

TELSTRA has launched legal action after its plan to install a 35m-high tower to improve phone coverage in Henley Beach was rejected by Charles Sturt Council.

The proposed development has been opposed by residents who believe the tower does not belong in the area.

The telecommunications company has lodged an appeal to the Environment, Resources and Development Court to build the tower at 73 East Tce to cover blind spots along the coast.

The appeal will seek to overturn a decision made by the council’s Development Assessment Panel in December, which found the tower would not add to the “desired character of the area” and would “detrimentally impact the amenity of the nearby residents”.

Suzanne Bromley was one of 48 residents who submitted representations to the panel in opposition to the phone tower. Mrs Bromley lives next door to the proposed site, which is a Telstra exchange.

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

Telstra turns on WiFi calling for Samsung S7 owners

02 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

Telstra, you may soon gain support for WiFi calling.

That is, you’ll gain support for WiFi calling if you’re on Telstra and own a Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, because with an update for those phones bringing the operating system to Android 7.0 “Nougat”, that feature is now something that exists and works.

Originally introduced by Telstra in late 2016, the concept allows mobile customers on the Telstra network to jump between the mobile 4G network and a WiFi network for more than just data, with voice communications jumping the connections also.

This means if you have WiFi at work, home, or use the Telstra Air public network broadcast from payphones, your voice calls could share the network, keeping a call from getting down in the ditch and losing reception altogether.

“While we have our eye firmly on the future and are paving the way for the mobile network of tomorrow, Wi-Fi calling enhances our customers’ calling experiences today,” said Andrew Volard, Director of Device Management at Telstra.

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

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