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Northern Territory phone black spots costing lives

29 Jun 2017

MOBILE phone black spots will cost lives, paramedics have warned amid a double fatal at one of the Territory’s most popular tourist spots.

A Litchfield National Park mobile phone black spot left the survivors of the car crash, which killed Bangladeshi student Irfan Munna and Filipino national Risa Caramay, unable to make a desperate Triple 0 call on Sunday.

Last year, more than 360,000 people visited Litchfield National Park, which is only just over an hour’s drive from the Territory’s capital city of Darwin.

Yet the majority of the national park remains out of mobile phone range. Friends of the stricken pair were forced to wave down passing motorists in a bid to raise the alarm as their friends burned in a firey wreck on Litchfield Park Rd.

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Telstra proposed Corunna mobile tower to improve coverage

29 Jun 2017

Telstra has applied to build a new mobile phone tower at Corunna south of Narooma on Lot 139 of Corunna Road.

Telstra area general manager Chris Taylor said from the proposed location, it was expected parts of Corunna, Tilba and Mystery Bay will all benefit from the new coverage, pending council approval.

“Our overriding objective in participating in the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program is to maximise new coverage in the area,” Mr Taylor said.

“Expanding coverage to the region will allow the community to keep in contact with family and friends and run their businesses more effectively, whether by speaking on the phone or using a range of online services over our fast mobile internet network.

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What's Going To Happen With Australia's '5G Band'?

26 Jun 2017

The 3.6 GHz band is talked about as where our 5G network will live in the future - but it's not a done and dusted deal. There are existing services using this frequency that want to stay in business, after all.

So the Australian Communications and Media Authority is opening the doors for community and industry consultation on the band's usage.

"In line with our established mobile broadband strategy, we want to make sure Australia is well placed to take advantage of the emergence of 5G technologies both in the cities and the regions," said ACMA acting Chairman, Richard Bean.

"The ACMA acknowledges the strong interest in the 3.6 GHz band for 5G and other wide area broadband uses, while also recognising that there are existing services and licensees using these frequencies that want to continue operating."

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Wauchope and Camden Haven struck by phone and internet issues

26 Jun 2017

Phone and internet services across some parts of the Hastings have been disrupted since June 16.

Residents and businesses in parts of Wauchope, King Creek, Telegraph Point, Brombin, Pappinbarra and Rollands Plains haven’t been able to use their mobile phones or go online.

Meredith Ryan from FAWNA lives in Brombin and says it’s affecting the wildlife charity.

“It’s just not good enough in a supposedly progressive, tech-savvy country that people in relatively close proximity to a major centre are subjected to third world communications,” she said.

“This 3G connectivity problem for people more than five kiloemtres from the Telstra tower on the eastern end of Bago mountain has been manifesting since December 2016.”

Ms Ryan contacted the local MP, David Gillespie for help. Late on Wednesday afternoon, June 21, Telstra Countryside Gunnedah phoned her landline to say that a technician would be going to the Bago tower to install a replacement part that had to be ordered in.

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Digital project complete in Diamantina

26 Jun 2017

Diamantina Mayor Geoff Morton said he is delighted his shire section of the Barcoo Diamantina Connecting Remote Communities Project has been completed.

“The linking of Boulia – Bedourie – Birdsville by optic fibre brings to a close 12 years of work by many people in the planning, lobbying and delivery of the plan to connect the 5 towns in Barcoo and Diamantina Shires with optic fibre and mobile phones,” Cr Morton said.

“The final piece in the puzzle, the construction of a 4G mobile tower in Bedourie, has been completed.  ADSL2+ and 4G are now available in Bedourie and Birdsville.”

Cr Morton said that the completion of the optic project would bring download time for large files from seven minutes down to seven seconds. “Internet download speed has increased from 1.2mbps (using satellite) in the Bedourie Administration centre to 94mbps using our new 4G connection,” he said.

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Perth residents peeved as giant mobile phone towers pop up metres from their back fences

26 Jun 2017

Optus says the towers are needed, but residents don't agree.

Residents in Bullsbrook and North Perth are up in arms over “ugly” mobile phone towers they say are going to ruin the outlook from their homes.

In Bullsbrook, an Optus tower was initially rejected by the City of Swan council before being approved at the State Administrative Tribunal.

It leaves resident Kevin Best facing up to the likelihood of a 43-metre tower standing less than 100 metres from his house and just 10 metres from him back fence.

“They said it won't impair the amenity that's one of the things they said: ‘You know you won't be able to see it’,” Mr Best told Today Tonight.

“Well I wouldn't like to tell you what I think of it! I think it's a lot of rubbish.”

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ACMA mulls 5G future for 3.6GHz spectrum

24 Jun 2017

The potential re-farming of spectrum in the 3.6GHz band for use in fixed and/or mobile broadband services could begin as soon as soon as Q4 2017, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The communications regulator today released an options paper on the future use of 3.6GHz spectrum.

The ACMA said its current preferred option is to “establish arrangements optimised for wide-area broadband deployments (be they mobile or fixed)” over all the spectrum available in the band (125MHz — the band covers the 3575-3700 MHz frequency range). Spectrum licenses would be allocated via auction.

Current users of the spectrum, including satellite earth stations in metropolitan areas and point-to-multipoint users in regional areas, such as some wireless Internet service providers (WISPs), would be affected by changes to how the spectrum is allocated.

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Mid June Update

21 Jun 2017

Optus continue to rollout new towers at breakneck speed with an additional 29 new towers with VIC getting 11 and NSW and QLD getting 7 each. These appear to all be full towers featuring lower bands (not the "4.5G towers" recently seen in CBD locations), and are spread around mostly regional areas. Optus also managed to upgrade a further 45 sites with VIC again featuring heavily with 19 alone. 4G is still the major focus with many sites now receiving 4G900 also and Optus is still investing in it 3G network as well. Optus also now has (for a limited time) a mobile data sim for $70pm which gives 100GB of data, this writer is now using that as my primary internet connection and I'm achieving 30mbs in both directions fairly consistently, I also got my NBN date which is 12 months from now, finally!

Telstra upgraded 58 sites this fortnight with its 4G2600 network getting some traction finally which is about time! This is most likely part of their "4.5G" push also, but 4G700 continues to be a major focus also. Telstra installed 5 new sites with rural WA getting 3 of them.

Vodafone continues to plod along slowly with 6 new sites and 18 site upgrades, with Vodafone continuing to add 4G bands to increase capacity.  4G1800 is also being added now which is something new although they appear in metro areas and not a result of the recent 1800mhz spectrum auction.

NBN activated 14 new sites as well as upgraded a further 2. Outer metro areas now appear to be NBN's focus but several rural sites are still getting activated.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has increased by 15 sites as Telstra's focus shifted away to 4G2600. Optus is ahead of Telstra however in 4G700 by 1098 sites.

As NBN And Mobile Networks Roll Out, The Productivity Commission Wants To Scrap Landline-Access Program

21 Jun 2017

The Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation was set up to ensure that all Australians have access to a landline. The Federal Government's Productivity Commission just a released a report calling the $3 billion over 20 years initiative "anachronistic and costly", recommending it should end by 2020.

The report points to the "sizable public investment" in NBN infrastructure that will provide high-speed (voice-capable) broadband "to all premises (on request) across Australia by 2020 at a quality that is, for the most part, superior to what has been available" as one of the reasons for ending the program.

"Rapid developments in telecommunications technology are transforming people's lives," the report reads. "The growing demand for ubiquitous digital connectivity provides a strong case for reform that reflects evolving policy, market and technological realities."

The Productivity Commission says the NBN has been designed to narrow the city–country digital gap - with cross-subsidies from commercial to non-commercial services within a funding envelope.

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The Secret Ingredient Driving Disruptive Mobile Technologies

21 Jun 2017

Chances are that you’ve witnessed the mobile revolution taking place in media and marketing. No offence to those still using a flip phone or those who might be too young to remember a world without their smartphone.

Apple may often be quoted as the key driver for this revolution with the launch of the iPhone in 2007, but the ultimate base for the success of mobile technology has been, and will be, mobile network standards.

Since the early 80s when the 1G mobile network launched and initially solely allowed for voice calls there has been a pattern of 10-year mobile network innovation.

    1G (1982) – Voice calls
    2G (1991) – SMS
    3G (2001) – Internet access with text and images
    4G (2010) – Rich media web services (like HD video streaming)

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