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Blackspot sending Boreen Pt business broke

06 Jun 2017

AN ANGRY Boreen Point resident has had enough of promises from Australia's largest phone network provider, claiming he's "going broke” not being able to make and receive business calls.

Peter Fryer said he was on the brink of closing his 20-year home business due to his house being located in a "black spot” not covered by Telstra reception.

Mr Fryer said he had been repeatedly reassured by Telstra representatives that equipment to boost reception would be installed soon, however nothing had changed despite beginning inquiries almost a year ago.

"Telstra advised me a new antenna was due late last year but, no, this did not happen,” he said.

"My business is going bust as I can't be contacted via phone. I pay $85 a month for no service. I asked for a refund, but no one can do this.

"The amount (of money) I've lost, it's getting close to closing the business now.”

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New Optus mobile plans offer up to 100GB per month

05 Jun 2017

Premium My Plan options include monthly allowances to satisfy the heaviest mobile data users.

Are you sick of paying extra for exceeding your mobile data limit? Optus has launched new plans for you. Its new Premium My Plan Plus options include 30GB of data for $130 per month or 100GB for $160 per month.

On 24-month contracts, both business plans include unlimited standard national and international roaming talk and texts; unmetered streaming (iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, Netflix and Stan) and English Premier League coverage; pooled and shared data across up to five eligible devices (including mobile broadband dongles); and an optional new phone after 12 months for $99 with trade-in when recontracting for 24 months.

Roaming data in "selected countries" is included: 1.5GB per month on the $160 plan and 1GB on the $130 plan.

Customers on the $160 plan are promised fast-track customer service.

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End Of May Update

04 Jun 2017

Optus appear to be expanding their new "4.5G" network with the activation of a bunch of, what look to be new small cell sites along Oxford Street, as well as other CBD locations around Sydney including more sites in the royal botanical gardens. 19 sites in all, appear to be these small cell sites having only 4G2600 with a few also having 3G2100 as well. Optus activated 39 sites in total, with 29 in NSW and 19 as part of their "4.5G" expansion. Optus also upgraded a further 35 sites right around the nation with 4G700 continuing to be the major focus.

Telstra activated an impressive 19 sites this fortnight with 7 in NSW alone, 5 of which were in conjunction with Optus and Vodafone and at Sydney Railway stations. Rural QLD also got some new sites with 3 rural small cell sites also being activated. Telstra Upgraded 45 further sites mostly along the east coast, with 4G700 being the main focus but also a spattering of other bands. Telstra also proposed 133 site upgrades with 62 in QLD alone and what looks to be a future “4.5G” rollout around Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Vodafone activated 9 new sites with most being part of the NSW rail project mentioned above. Vodafone also upgraded a further 33 sites with 16 alone in VIC, 4G1200 was the major focus but also a few sites continue to be upgraded with 4G850 as well.

NBN activated 19 new sites with 9 sites also receiving upgrades. This writer also noted that the NBN tower I will be connecting to late 2020 is now standing. There are no antennas or equipment yet and given NBN's fixed wireless network is ahead of schedule I would hope I get connected earlier than late 2020.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has decreased by 10 sites as Telstra continues to plod along. Optus is still ahead of Telstra however in 4G700 by 1083 sites.

Telstra and Keay dispute launch date for Sisters Beach mobile tower

04 Jun 2017

Telstra denies it said when a mobile phone tower in Sisters Beach would be switched on, but emails to a Labor MP’s office suggest otherwise.

Federal Braddon MP Justine Keay said she twice received advice from Telstra that the Sisters Beach tower would be launched May 19.

She said Sisters Beach residents “have been waiting too long for their mobile phone reception to get fixed”.

The tower will provide 3G and 4G mobile coverage to a large part of the region once completed.

It is part of the national rollout of the Mobile Black Spot Program.

Telstra said at no stage did it communicate a switch-on date for the Sisters Beach tower that Ms Keay has been talking about.

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Vodafone launches legal action over mobile roaming

04 Jun 2017

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is yet to finalise its decision on whether to regulate domestic mobile roaming, but Vodafone Hutchison Australia has already launched legal action over the issue.

Last month the ACCC issued a draft decision that it would not declare a wholesale mobile roaming service. If a service was to be declared, the ACCC could force telcos such as Telstra to allow rivals, such as Vodafone, to use their mobile network infrastructure.

Vodafone has stridently argued for mobile roaming, which would enable it to offer services in parts of regional Australia that its own network does not cover.

“Australian mobile phone users will continue to pay too much and suffer poor coverage in regional areas” as a result of the ACCC’s draft decision, the telco said in a statement issued today.

Vodafone is seeking judicial review of the ACCC’s inquiry process. The telco yesterday lodged its application with the Federal Court.

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NBN fixed wireless rollout reaches 500,000 premises

01 Jun 2017

More than half a million households are able to order fixed wireless services on the National Broadband Network, NBN said today.

The figure means that the planned rollout of fixed wireless is more than 80 per cent complete. NBN also revealed that so far only 175,000 eligible premises currently have active services, however.

Recent data released by NBN indicated that by the end of March across the network in total 4.6 million premises were able to order a service, although less than half those households — just over 2 million — had active connections.

NBN currently offers wholesale speeds of up to 50 megabits per second over fixed wireless, with the company planning to launch 100Mbps services in 2018.

Last month the company demonstrated downstream bandwidth of 1.1 gigabits per second and 165Mbps upstream using its wireless infrastructure. However, the launch of a commercial service with those speeds is unlikely for now due to spectrum constraints.

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Safety issues flagged in business's black spot battle

01 Jun 2017

PROBLEMS with phone reception and internet is costing Lake Awoonga Boating and Leisure Hire business, and the owner has had enough.

Nigel 'Nudge' Trezise said for the three years they had almost been there they had been battling with Telstra.

"We've reported it a couple of times as a blackspot, we've been to the complaints department, we've been everywhere with it and nothing seems to be done about it," he said.

Mr Trezise said he could not receive NBN or broadband at the dam which was disappointing too.

"We do a lot on social media to promote business and if you can't upload a photo or go onto your Facebook page, it's very annoying," he said.

"We're missing phone calls all the time ... and then you have to stand in the right area just to call them back."

Besides the inconvenience of the situation, Mr Trezise said they had to use their mobile phones for internet, which cost a fortune.

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Cities, not the bush, are the focus of phone services

01 Jun 2017

The myth in Telstra advertisements spruiking its regional mobile infrastructure spend is that it is doing so to help the bush when, in reality, it is all about marketing in the big cities.

The latest missive notes that 15 per cent of Telstra’s mobile spending is in parts of the country where only two per cent of the country lives.

It doesn’t sound like a great investment but then again Telstra also didn’t tell you it has received $1.9 billion in taxpayer funding to help build its regional mobile network, against $1.5 billion from its own pocket.

The big bucks in mobile come from the big cities and while most people would dial others in large cities for 98 per cent of their calls, everyone wants a service that works out the back of Bourke.

There is no logic to the desire — it’s just a reality of the market — which is why the ACCC decision not to declare mobile roaming was such a boon to Telstra and such a blow to Vodafone, which has spent less money investing in regional networks.

In fact Optus figures show that over the last two years applications to co-locate on its mobile towers have totalled 111 from Telstra, 87 from the NBN and just 16 for Vodafone.

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Mobile blackspot program: Central Victoria misses out

01 Jun 2017

CENTRAL Victoria will again miss out on mobile blackspot funding after failing to make the cut of the Federal Government’s “preferred locations” for the program’s third round.

The Government has selected 19 locations in Victoria for the final $60 million round — all in Coalition electorates.

The 125 locations selected nationwide — 29 in marginal, non-Government seats — were largely committed during last year’s federal election. The formal list of Round 3 locations was released this month.

Corangamite and Casey, on Melbourne’s outer fringe, will receive four towers each; La Trobe, also in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, will receive three; Murray, Gippsland and Flinders, two each; and McMillan one.

It has prompted outrage from Labor-held Bendigo and McEwen, which received three and two towers respectively from the 141 allocated to Victoria in previous rounds of the program.

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No legislation stopping NBN from becoming mobile provider

01 Jun 2017

--- Half way down article----

In response to a Question on Notice from Senator Anne Urquhart, NBN further admitted that there is no legislation preventing it from becoming a wholesale operator of a mobile network.

"The current legislation does not prevent NBN Co Limited (NBN Co) using any particular type of technology," NBN said.

"However, NBN Co's Statement of Expectations focuses on NBN Co providing services to premises (i.e. fixed locations)."

Vodafone Australia had last month argued in its submission to the Joint Standing Committee that NBN should provide a wholesale mobile service using its fixed-wireless infrastructure in order to allow mobile carriers to expand coverage throughout regional and rural areas across the country.

Calling the fixed-wireless network an "under-utilised" asset, Vodafone's said this would "maximise the benefit" of the millions of dollars being spent on building out the NBN.

"Delivery of a wholesale mobile service via fixed-wireless towers ... NBN Co's fixed-wireless is effectively delivered on the same LTE 4G network as is deployed by mobile operators, so could be accommodated relatively easily," Vodafone recommended.

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