Happy 1st birthday 4G
To me it’s hard to believe that we only launched our 4G service for consumers exactly a year ago today. Hard because I have never seen a mobile network technology mature as quickly as we have seen with 4G.
In 12 months we’ve connected over 500,000 devices to this network. In comparison, when we launched our AMPS (or 1G) network in April 1987 it took until late 1992 before we reached the half a million customer milestone. When we launched our GSM (or 2G) network in 1993 it took us two years to reach the 100,000 customer milestone – so the pace has certainly picked up!
This has been helped by a number of factors. We now have over 1000 4G enabled sites in over 100 regional and metro areas, meaning that 40 per cent of the population is covered by the technology. Where we don’t yet have 4G coverage (but the network is set to expand very quickly) we have seamless transition to our 3G network, meaning customers can still access some of the fastest 3G speeds available in Australia. We have also seen a proliferation of devices. Telstra customers have access to a choice of five 4G smartphone handsets, four mobile broadband devices and a tablet – bringing the total number of compatible devices to 10.
But what is really important to me is how our networks help our customers connect with the people and content they want to connect with when they’re on the move.
We did some research recently and found that more than half of 4G smartphone owners are getting more out of their mobile experience. More than half are using online search sites like Google more on their 4G phone than on their PC, and that over a quarter of them access their online banking more on their mobile than on their computer. What this tells me is that our customers appreciate the speed and the reliability of the 4G network, and the convenience it allows them to do more things in more places.
This convenience is something we’re going to expand even further in the next 10 months. We’re going to build out another 1000 4G sites, which will bring 4G coverage to approximately 66 percent of the population. And we’re working hard with device manufacturers – for example we’ve already announced that we’ll have three new 4G handsets available in the next month, but we’re not stopping there…
So as we celebrate a first birthday I’m setting challenges for what we’ll achieve in our second year. And look forward to some pretty exciting milestones in 4G’s second year.
Check out the infographic we made to celebrate
Click the image to view or download the full infographic.