Telstra’s mobile network is a world-leader, developed through years of research and investment. Covering over 2.4 million square kilometres, the network is able to reach 99.3% of the population.
Connectivity is vital to regional, rural and remote communities, which is why Telstra has consistently weighted network investments towards extending coverage. Over the last 10 years, 15 per cent of investment in our mobile network has gone to provide services to the most remote 2 per cent of the population.
With the launch of the NextG network 10 years ago our engineering expertise was used to optimise rural coverage and performance, which included:
- The world’s first 200km cell range
- The use of low band, coverage friendly 850 MHz spectrum
- The development of high powered ‘boomer cells’ to extend rural coverage
- The development of the prestigious Blue Tick standard to identify coverage friendly devices
In 2014 Telstra began rolling out 4GX – one of the world’s fastest mobile services. This technology uses the 700 MHz spectrum which travels further and gets deeper into buildings, delivering higher typical mobile speeds on compatible devices. This allows more Australians, including in remote areas, to experience reliable connections and ultra-fast mobile internet.
Telstra and our technology partners are also are preparing the network for the future. In just 5 years total network traffic will grow over 500% driven by video, connected machine and even drone technologies that will put as yet unheard off demands on the network. And we know around 80% of the network capacity that will be required to support this increase in traffic is yet to be built.
The opportunities that many new technologies will bring hinge on access to a fast, reliable and affordable mobile network. We are investing to deliver the increased capacity required and unlock the benefits new technologies will bring.
Telstra recently announced a commitment to continuing our work to improve regional mobile coverage. Over the next five years Telstra will invest $350 million in new technology and regional base stations, up to $240 million to continue our work on the first two rounds of the successful Mobile Black Spot Programme, and a further $100-$200 million set aside for new regional co-investments.
With the co-investments, this could represent a $1 billion boost to regional, rural and remote mobile coverage.
Volume of data on the Telstra mobile network over time: