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Telstra joins Victorian Government to invest in regional rail mobile coverage


Posted on April 19, 2017

2 min read

Telstra is helping make the ride to and from home a lot more fun for Victorian regional rail commuters.

We know how much everyone loves to be able to use their phones on their commute to and from work.

Whether it’s surfing the net, posting on social, working flexibly or just calling home to let loved ones know you are on the way, it makes the daily trip feel faster and a lot more fun.

For commuters on Victoria’s busiest regional routes, a lack of in-carriage mobile coverage has long been a source of frustration.

But that is set to change.

The Victorian Government has today signalled the start of its $18 million investment to enhance mobile coverage on the state’s five busiest regional rail corridors – Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Traralgon and Seymour – through the Regional Rail Connectivity Project.

Telstra, along with Optus and Vodafone, each contracted with the Victorian Government, agreed to fund construction of the required mobile base stations to provide the best result for commuters and allow the Victorian Government to focus its investment on providing in-train repeaters.

Victoria will be the first state in Australia to have carrier-approved in-train technology designed to repeat the signal from nearby mobile base stations to ensure the signal can be received by passengers inside each carriage.

We are proud to be working with the Victorian Government to help bring this project to life

We have already made significant network investments along these rail links, extending our 4GX footprint as part of our ongoing commitment to regional Australia.

As a result, once the in-train repeaters are installed as part of the Victorian Government’s investment, our customers will have access to in-train coverage for close to 95% of the regional rail routes.

Our further investment in additional infrastructure as part of this project will increase that in-train coverage along the routes to 99% for Telstra customers.

We know that increased coverage is a priority for our customers and for businesses in regional Australia and that is exactly what this project delivers.





Tags: networks, regional,

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Cya 2G: saying thx to the 2G mobile network

Telstra News

Posted on November 23, 2016

3 min read

It was a fitting, if not novel send off at the Brunswick Bowls Club in Melbourne on Tuesday to thank the Telstra 2G network before it heads into retirement on 1 December this year!

We launched the 2G network in April 1993. To put this into context, Paul Keating was our Prime Minister and Bill Clinton was the President of the United States of America. Meatloaf topped the charts for 8 weeks with ‘Anything for Love’, the movies Jurassic Park and Mrs Doubtfire were released and A Country Practice aired its final episode! It’s also the last time that Uranus passed Neptune (it happens once every 171 years).

The launch was a team effort, with Ericsson and Alcatel as launch partners and a huge team from around Telstra working furiously to make it happen. We transitioned from Analogue to the Digital network.

But what was most exciting was the experience we created for our customers. It was a time when making a phone call was a novel experience. In three years after launch we had 2G mobile network coverage of 91% of Australia’s population.

Since then, Australians have made around 87 billion phone calls and sent billions more text messages on the 2G network.

The 2G network was there for some of our nation’s biggest milestones – we had one million customers in 1997. 2G was there to ring in the new millennium. We were the telecommunications partner of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, which was the world’s first mobile Olympic Games. 125,000 mobile calls were made during the Olympic Opening Ceremony alone. I was lucky enough to be at the Sydney Olympics working around the clock in our networks team.

Most Aussie’s first mobile experience was made possible by 2G, and I love seeing how everyone has fond memories of the old 2G phones like the Nokia 3210.

But with all great things, there comes a time to hang up your boots. Sadly it’s time for 2G to close now. It’s been a robust, reliable network but now it’s time to look to the future. Thanks for the memories, 2G!

Here’s to 2G!


Important reminder

We announced our plan to close the 2G network to customers almost two and a half years ago. Since then we’ve been informing our 2G customers about their options through direct communications to help them understand the changes and what they will mean for them. From 1 December 2016, 2G customers will no longer be able to make or receive phone calls or use data if they do not upgrade. This includes calls to 000 emergency services. Some customers may still be able to make emergency calls within the network coverage area of another carrier with a 2G network. We’re here to help our customers make the switch to our 3G or 4G services – it should be relatively simple and straightforward! Customers should visit their nearest Telstra store or service provider to chat about their options as soon as possible to stay connected after 1 December this year.

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Commemorating Anzac Day: the Tinker family story

Telstra News

Posted on April 22, 2016

5 min read

Both WW1 and WW2 were never spoken about growing up in the Tinker household. Despite the fact Steve Tinker’s grandfather, great uncles, father and uncle had all served in the conflicts for Australia. It was his mother and sister who first started to uncover what was a family mystery and eventually culminated in a book.

This is the Tinker story.

“Received your letter today and was right glad to hear from you, we were worrying a good deal about you as we could not find a CCS [Causality Clearing Station] or a dressing station you had been through… Well old boy… look after yourself. I must write to Fron [brother Francis] and tell him about you. I remain your loving brother, Jim.” 26 September, 1917

Three days after James (Jim) Tinker sent that letter to my grandfather Ernest, he was killed. James was a gunner in the Unit 4 Field Artillery Brigade and died in battle at Messines Ridge, Belgium.

I can almost picture two years earlier in Spring 1915 three brothers, Jim aged 29, Les, 26, and 21-year-old Ernie, all from Warrnambool in country Victoria, boarding the colossal HMAS Wilshire in Melbourne together and heading to the very front of World War One. All I can think is, these poor young guys, they thought they were going on a great adventure.

“Dear Mother, Just a PC [postcard picture] hoping this will find you all well as this leaves us three splendid… we were watching a whales this morning for about ten minutes… Well dear Mum this is a photo of our ship so you can see for yourself what a big ship we are on. Well Mum I will close love to all at home, I remain your loving son Ernest Stephen.” December 1915

At that time, the world was so big. Now it feels so small. They didn’t know what was ahead of them. Or who wouldn’t make it home.

Dear brother, Just a PC [postcard picture] of me taken while on leave at Gosport. I think they [the photos] are very good and don’t you think very much like Les. Only I am better looking… Well dear brothers I don’t think the war will last very much longer now and we all trust it don’t… from loving brother Frances.” Date unknown

Francis was the second eldest of the four Tinker brothers in WW1. A few things struck me when reading these letters my grandfather and his brothers had sent during the war. Firstly – the language – the way they spoke in those days, it was so polite. It makes me laugh to think about us communicating that way now. But secondly, it bought it all into reality. These young men, these four brothers, what they must have seen.

James was the eldest of the four and he was always concerned about the other boys and keeping in touch with home.  He was also the one who would never make it back to Warrnambool.

The Tinkers at War

My grandfather Ernest was badly wounded less than a week before Jim was killed. He was gunner also, but was working as a signaller at the same combat as his brother, the Battle of Polygon Wood. As a signaller he had two wires that ran to the next bunker. If they were broken, it was his job to go out onto the battle field and fix it. In September 1917 he was shot in the legs while repairing wires, the stretcher bearers came to carrier him to safety, but had to drop him and cover for safety due to attack fire.

Sometime later they were able to retrieve him and he was taken to England to recover from the gun wounds before going back to France.

My father Ken served Australia not 30 years later as an aircraft mechanic in the Second World War. For most of my life, the wars were a family mystery. They were never spoken of. Stories weren’t told, shared and recounted. It was my mother and sister who decided to unravel the unknown through letters and historic records and compiled it into a book about the Tinker family’s war history.

Being part of the launch of the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience travelling exhibition in Albury-Wodonga last year with about 50 other volunteers from Telstra was quite special for me. The exhibition, I believe, is amazing. Through the sounds and sights, it brings the Anzac spirit to life and the reality of so many Australians involved in war 100 years ago – and still today. Going through the experience, you feel to some extent what it must have been like. How people lived. How people died.

I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer at Albury-Wodonga through my role at Telstra and again in my home town of Bendigo late last year. One of the best parts of the experience was meeting and connecting with people from the community and hearing their connection to war. Those with relatives who served in conflicts from last century. But also those with loved ones serving today. It’s a moving experience.


This Anzac Day, Steve will attend his local RSL service in Bendigo before watching the football with family.

Telstra is proud to support the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, opening in Tamworth on 26 April.

[tw-button size=”large” background=”” color=”blue” target=”_blank” link=”” target=”_blank””]Book your free tickets[/tw-button]

Tags: community,


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