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06 Dec 2013
By Mike Wright
Dec
06
2013

Taking the next step to ensure customers continue to receive more reliable speeds

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At this time of year a lot of businesses are looking to slow down for the end of year however for some of us the year continues in full flight, both rolling our new 4G coverage to 85% of the Australian population and also pushing new technology boundaries.

Overnight last night we took another opportunity to conduct a world leading technology test that will be foundational in preparing Telstra’s network for the increasing demand for wireless data.

Back in August I wrote about the possibilities of LTE- Advanced Carrier Aggregation which allows greater data download speeds by aggregating spectrum across the two spectrum bands and this morning we were able to see this in action, live on our commercial 4G network, by aggregating two channels of 20MHz spectrum to achieve download speeds of up to 300 Mbps in a trial environment.

The trial was conducted using a commercial test device and aggregating 20 MHz bandwidth within the 1800 MHz spectrum band and 20 MHz bandwidth within the 2600 MHz band.

While these trial speeds are very impressive and exciting (and we expect that actual typical customer speeds on commercial services will be lower), these trials are important for another reason as they build on our earlier LTE-Advanced work and set us up to continue to deliver a reliable network experience and more reliable speeds into the future. We have all seen around the world what happens when operators can’t keep up with customer demand. Without a strong, multi-year strategy the rapid rate of data growth would quickly swamp any new network rollout.

As we move into 2014 we will use these trials to inform the development of our network and the early launch of devices that will be ready for the combined APT700 MHz and LTE1800 spectrum bands.

Overall our customers can rest assured that Telstra is continuing our tradition of investing in and building out the best mobile network and focused on providing them with a superior service with more coverage, fewer dead spots, more reliable speeds and fewer dropouts.

And when it comes to data, no-one rivals the 4G coverage experience we provide our customers. We now offer four times the 4G coverage area of any competitor. And, we’re just a few hundred base stations shy of reaching 85 per cent of the population.

That’s important because our customers now look at their phones as much as they talk on them and with people heading to the beach for holidays they should notice the difference in many places.

We are grateful to the television broadcasters (Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10 and the ABC) for granting us access to suitable 2.5 GHz spectrum for the trial.

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Posts: 34

9 Comments

  1. GW says:

    Sigh … what is the point of having such great speeds and such good coverage when your wireless customers do not have enough data per month to really use it?

    GW

    • Gregory Opera says:

      What he said…

      *Points upwards*

      Data allowances and value-for-money has not increased in line with the advances we’ve made in wireless data speeds…

      There needs to be larger data allowances -- particularly for wireless broadband users -- and the data allowances need to be better-value-for money.

      Admittedly, all of the Australian service providers are guilty of this… But Telstra (disappointingly) seems to be the worst.

    • GW says:

      Thanks Gregory, I only wish Telstra would recognise this issue but for 54 years I have been trying to tell them that the data allowances on wireless is not sufficient for those unable to get a wired service at home.

      They have repeatedly said that the majority of users are happy with the data allowances, which is correct but that majority is people that do not use wireless at home, they have ADSL or Cable available to them They only use wireless when on the move and do not need large data quotas as all downloads and other Internet activity is done on their home wired service. This one fact is something that Telstra for whatever reason cannot recognise and they continue to ignore it.

      The other reply they give is that they review the data needs of their customers often, if that was the case they would have recognised customers unable to get a wired service are saying that the data available at the price they provide it is not enough and way too expensive.

      I sound like a broken record asking for the same thing, many have switched off on my comments and replies as it never changes, the reason for that is that Telstra never changes.

      After all of that they also continue to shape us at 64kbps, whilst those that can get a wired service are shaped at 256kbps.

      It really is a case of haves and have nots.
      It really is a case of if you cannot get adsl or cable at home it is too fraking bad so suck it up.
      It really is a case of give more to those that have a wired service and continue to forget those on a wireless only service
      It really is a case of no one at Telstra cares about home wireless users
      It really is a case of nothing will be improved until after the NBN is here to replace them.

      I always keep a small amount, as minor as it is, optimism that Telstra will recognise the above and finally provide better value and better data to home wireless users.

      They could easily provide home users more data than mobile users, as in have a fixed wireless service and a mobile wireless service, it can be done, Telstra choose not to do it.

      Cheers

      GW

    • Anand says:

      it is one of view point ONLY:

      Key point is ” NOT to have data sealing for the download- else it doesn’t make sense to have such high speed at all…..all this data could be consumer in 10 mins constant download….then what will customer will do after this?

      Strategy should be to provide plans with unlimited data download with high speeds -- then it would be pave for Mobile apps, retails apps, media/entertainment apps, games apps usage…

      it is just a thought to validate it!

      thanks
      Anand

    • Gregory Opera says:

      It should be interesting to see what happens with the NBN (National Broadband Network)… If it ever gets here (the current Government have suspended the roll-out for a lot of areas).

      This is watering it down a fair bit, but the NBN puts everyone on the same playing field because Telstra does not own the majority of infrastructure…

      In theory, this means that anyone -- including you GW -- could complete directly with Telstra on network reliability, pricing and so forth.

      Of course there are other factors that affect this -- Telstra has a lot bigger marketing budget than you do and although many of their call-centers are off-shore, they are renowned for being some of the best, in addition to other factors…

      The main point however, is that Telstra and its direct competitors will need to pick-up their game, because once the NBN is commonplace, there will (theoretically) be little reason why you would choose to stay with Telstra over its competitors.

  2. Christopher Campbell says:

    When will Melbourne and Sydney get 20mhtz of contiguous spectrum in the 1.8GHZ 4G band?

  3. Leslie says:

    My friends are on different carriers and while my emails and browsing is completed in a flash with Telstra, their experience is snail pace. If you need more data why don’t you just add an extra data pack ? It’s not a contract and you can remove it at any time. I need connectivity so I am happy paying for a service that actually works all of the time unlike the others

    • GW says:

      Leslie

      May I ask do you have wireless connection only at home or do you also have an adsl or cable connection at home?

      There is no way to add data packs to home wireless accounts, never has been and I have been told never will be. Yes I can get data packs for my mobile which I already have but at a price.

      Having said that, why should people unable to get a wired service who pay $110 for 15GB be asked to pay even more for additional data when those on a wired service can get 500GB for as little as $90 and then be shaped at a still usable speed of 256kbps instead of us being shaped at 64kbps which is not usable in today’s web.

      We supplement our Internet use with our mobile phones data which is just another cost.

      Try and get by as a family of 5 on 15GB of data, with three teenagers at school/uni that require the Internet for studies. In our home we ban online gaming, ban music and video downloads or even listening or watching, ban downloads unless I say it is ok and limit greatly the web sites they visit due to the size of downloading a web site to view. It would be wonderful for me to say to my children to use the Internet anyway they want to and not worry about how much data they use.

      While 15GB might be enough for 1 persons needs, if you had to share that connection with 4 others at the same time you would only have 3GB available to yourself per month.

      Cheers

      GW

    • Gregory Opera says:

      Oh boy, I know exactly how you feel GW!

      Despite *technically* being on ADSL 2+, we’ve struggled to get ADSL 1 speeds all year…

      It took dozens of new modems, in the high hundreds worth of of (account) credits, countless complaints (including two to the Ombudsman), technicians every second day (including on multiple weekends) and eleven months for Telstra to solve the problem, all the while we were using our slow Internet in combination with mobile data across two smartphones.

      Now with our problem, Telstra *miraculously* fixed the issue on their end/at the call center (after eleven months!) and things seem to be working fine now…

      But if someone is in a situation like ours or has no access to “traditional” broadband, it’s a joke that they are required to pay just as much for wireless broadband as the Everyday Joe -- people without access to “traditional” broadband or those experiencing prolonged technical issues should be given larger data allowances, at considerably less prices.

      Telstra should have 50-100GB wireless broadband plans for those without access to “traditional” broadband and/or those experiencing ongoing technical issues… The fact that they don’t just leaves me scratching my head.

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