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Telstra expanding rural, regional coverage with mobile blackspot remediation

02 Dec 2016
TelstraNews

Telstra says more residents and businesses visitors in rural and regional Australia will soon benefit from its expanded mobile coverage, including superfast mobile broadband, under round two of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).

Telstra’s chief operations officer Brendon Riley said it would build 148 mobile base stations under Round Two, in addition to the 429 locations selected in Round One of the MBSP – more than $486 million worth of co-investment in country Australia.

“Under the MBSP we will be delivering expanded 3G/4G mobile coverage to 577 locations across the nation, bringing a range of new benefits to these rural and regional communities.

“We know that increased coverage is the number one priority for people and businesses in regional Australia. We have already expanded mobile coverage to 72 locations, resulting in nearly 30,000 square kilometres of new or improved mobile coverage under the MBSP.”

The improved coverage will increase access to new technologies for key regional sectors like agriculture, transport, mining and tourism – technologies that rely on a fast, reliable and affordable mobile network.

“Thousands of people in rural and regional areas can now talk with family, friends and run their businesses more effectively through Telstra’s 4GX service, bringing you the fastest 4G speeds on your 4GX device in Australia (in 4GX areas).

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

Vodafone wins mobile blackspot funds for only four towers

02 Dec 2016
InTheNews

Optus and Telstra split $60m.

Vodafone has secured funding for just four base stations in the second round of the federal mobile blackspots program, as Optus reversed its first round fortunes.

Of the 266 new or upgraded base stations to be built under the $60 million round two, Telstra will build 148, Optus 114, and Vodafone the remaining four.

For Optus, this was a large reversal in fortunes compared to the $100 million first round of the scheme where it applied but missed out on a slice of the money.

Vodafone did not hide its disappointment at being unable to secure any significant funding in round two, claiming the scheme had “let down” regional communities and businesses.

Vodafone’s chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd criticised the scheme for handing Telstra “75 percent of sites" under the first two rounds, and alleged other telcos were not opening up their scheme-funded sites to equipment co-location, as is required.

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

Telstra labels Vodafone a "freeloader"

02 Dec 2016
TelstraNews

Telcos in public spat over regional investment.

Telstra has accused Vodafone of showing its “true colours” as an infrastructure “freeloader” as the war of words over a potential regulated opening of part of Telstra’s regional mobile network intensifies.

The accusations came after Vodafone was overlooked for funding in round two of the federal mobile blackspots program, and used it as an excuse to attack Telstra.

Angered by the round two funds being split by Telstra and Optus – and the lion’s share of round one funding being allocated to Telstra - Vodafone claimed the blackspots scheme risked “further entrenching the dominance of Telstra”.

Vodafone also alleged other telcos were making it difficult to colocate mobile equipment on their towers in regional areas, and that a proposed ACCC declaration opening Telstra’s regional mobile network to others for domestic roaming “would ensure that taxpayers in rural and regional areas get maximum value through the mobile blackspot program".

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

Telstra says goodbye to 2G

02 Dec 2016
TelstraNews

End of an era.

Telstra this morning closed the curtains on its 23-year-old 2G GSM mobile phone network, marking the end of an era in Australian telecommunications.

The telco estimates around 87 billion phone calls have been made using the 2G service during its lifetime.

But as of today, customers who put off upgrading their legacy devices will no longer be able to make or receive phone calls or use data on the network.

Telstra first announced its plans to close the network two years ago. Both Optus and Vodafone are set to follow suit next year.

Less than 1 percent of its network traffic came from 2G customers when Telstra first announced the network closure in July 2014.

“We launched the 2G network over 20 years ago and in that time it has provided great service for our customers. But like many good things, the time has come to say farewell to the 2G network,” Telstra’s director of device management Andy Volard said.

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

Data drought: Bar must be raised for bush phone, internet

30 Nov 2016
InTheNews

EARLY next month the Government will receive the Productivity Commission’s draft report on the merits of upgrading the telecommunications Universal Service Obligation.

Its implications are crucial for regional people.

The USO is the guarantee that ensures every Australian household has access to a landline telephone. Currently the Australian Government contracts Telstra to ensure home phones and a largely redundant payphone network are maintained nationwide.

Prior to changes in technology, the USO was a highly effective way of providing all Australians access to telecommunications.

Unfortunately, the current USO has not been upgraded in a quarter of a century. This is a key reason why the digital divide between the city and the bush has become a critical challenge for regions.

In our submission to the Productivity Commission, the Regional Australia Institute encouraged an upgrade of the USO to include access to both broadband and mobile services. These are the key telecommunications of the 21st century and must be the focus of any future USO.

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

‘Ground-breaking’ broadband solution for airlines tested for European Aviation Network

29 Nov 2016
InTheNews

Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, together with Nokia and Thales, have successfully conducted a programme of test flights for the European Aviation Network (EAN) to test a broadband solution for airline passengers which integrates satellite and LTE-based terrestrial networks.

The test flights are hailed as a major milestone in the development of the EAN, the world's first "ground-breaking" integrated satellite and air-to-ground network dedicated to providing a true in-flight broadband experience for the European aviation industry and for millions of passengers travelling across Europe.

The EAN is planned for introduction in mid-2017 and the flights serve to test the performance of the EAN system including the onboard equipment being provided by Thales and the ground network provided by Deutsche Telekom and Nokia.

And, as a precursor to the test flight series, Deutsche Telekom and Nokia jointly achieved the first EAN live over-the-air connection, in Nokia's Stuttgart laboratory.

The companies say all components of the LTE ground network were thoroughly tested and validated and the first live connection in the field was accomplished in a broadband video conference with both parties connected via the dedicated EAN LTE mobile network.

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

Suburbs where parents can't contact their kids

28 Nov 2016
InTheNews

THE Somerset Dam 4G mobile tower will be completed by Christmas but there is still much work to be done to get residents in the region the mobile service they deserve.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann received correspondence from Telstra Consumer and Country Wide on Friday that the estimated construction completion time for the Somerset Dam tower would be December 16.

But the situation in the Somerset region has been diabolical for years and much work remains to be done.

 

Mr Neumann made a speech in parliament about the crisis that has unfolded.

"Most parts of Moore and the Somerset Dam simply have no reception," he said.

"It is not poor or unreliable. It does not exist.

In 2016...residents cannot make mobile calls of send text messages."

To see the site in question: click here.

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

It's undeniable: mobile phones are killing us

28 Nov 2016
InTheNews

Take your hand off it for a moment. Please. Hard to do, I know. The damn thing is the bane of my existence as well. It's like being the better half of an evil siamese twin. No matter where you go it's always with you, nagging, nudging, distracting and, even worse, playing with your mind.

So we'll make this as short and to the point as possible. The modern mobile phone has only been with us for little more than two decades but it has already become the first invention in more than 600 years that we carry with us everywhere.

As Jon Agar, an English professor of science and technology has pointed out, clothing and shoes were the first essentials of daily life and they were devised – presumably very quickly – in the Palaeolithic era.

Keys and money came to us courtesy of the Neolithic age (at about the same time as your father's jokes were being written, along with the television program guides for commercial digital channels). And glasses were a medieval contraption.

But for something that has quickly become so ubiquitous and so necessary that a medical term – nomophobia – has been coined to describe the anxiety felt by a user who has lost their phone or is out of mobile range, we still don't know with absolute certainty whether the device that has proved on countless occasions to be a life saver also has the ability to kill us.

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

People are using mobile data at 'crazy' levels and it's making telco execs nervous

28 Nov 2016
InTheNews

People are going mad for mobile data all around the globe, according to telecommunications executives, as the world awaits the extra capacity that 5G will bring.

“Providing really high speed coverage everywhere has really changed the behaviour and demands [of mobile users]. We have been testing completely unlimited data plans and people go crazy,” said Jesper Oldenburg, mobile strategy & technology vice president at Denmark’s TDC Group.

Oldenburg said at the Huawei Mobile Broadband Forum in Tokyo that, in the face of escalating consumption, telcos were trying to figure out how to provide sufficient mobile capacity for both humans and machines — another demand that will only increase in the coming years.

Hidebumi Kitahara, senior director at Japan’s SoftBank Corporation, said that mobile data consumption per user has increased 1.5 to 2 times every year.

“We used to provide 5GB for $50,” he told the forum. “But with 5GB users are not satisfied anymore. So what we decided to do was, for an additional $10, users can get four times the data capacity — 20GB.”

Kitahara added that Softbank makes “little money” on mobile data with such increases.

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

2.1Gbps speeds over LTE? That's not a typo, EE's already done it

28 Nov 2016
InTheNews

MBBF2016 Engineers at EE recently managed to get speeds of 2.1Gbps out of a trial LTE deployment, according to Tom Bennett, the British telco’s director of network services and devices.

“Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s the fastest anyone’s got LTE to go anywhere,” Bennett told the world’s tech press at Huawei’s Global Mobile Broadband Forum on Friday.

He did add that this was an engineering test rather than a realistic demonstration of speeds that consumers are likely to see soon, but the point had been made.

Explaining how EE managed to get speeds over LTE of up to 400Mbps in Wembley Stadium, Bennett mentioned how Huawei’s Smart Cities initiative had been a helping hand. EE and Huawei have been working together for the last five years, he said.

“Are we doing this as just a tech or for a good reason?” asked Bennett. The answer, of course, was that it was for a good reason: “New customers, the real techie type customers, they’re using their service and using the higher order bands, leaving the base bands free. It helps everybody keeping the tech fresh.”

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

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