Smart cells boost speed

We have installed more than 50 4G small cells across the Melbourne CBD as the first stage of a national small cell rollout to boost capacity and speed in some of Australia’s busiest locations.

A small cell is a miniature version of a standard mobile base station that adds additional mobile capacity at some of Australia’s busiest locations.

We’ve been using small cells to extend coverage mostly in rural and remote areas for several years, now we are deploying them in CBD locations around Australia as a cost-effective way to handle the ever growing demand for data.

Recently, we’ve completed a small cell blitz of Melbourne’s CBD, installing more than 50 new 4G cells at some of the city’s busiest locations. It’s part of a plan over the next three years to roll out 1,000 new small cells as part of boosting capacity and speed in metro and regional locations for our customers.

The small cell sites in Melbourne’s CBD criss-cross east to west between Spring Street and Spencer Street, and north to south between La Trobe Street and Flinders Street.

A cylindrical small cell antenna on a street sign on the corner of Degraves St, Melbourne
A cylindrical small cell antenna on a street sign on the corner of Degraves St, Melbourne.

Each 4G small cell deployment utilises existing CBD mobile infrastructure at locations such as information hubs and street light and electricity poles, and main intersections.

The busiest small cells are located near the intersections of Spencer St and Collins St; Spencer St and Bourke St; and Flinders St and St. Kilda Rd. Traffic carried on these cells is between two and three times the average CBD small cell traffic.

These new 4G small cell sites will ensure Telstra customers continue to enjoy the benefits of an excellent experience on our network* at a time when data consumption continues to grow more than 40 per cent every year.

Working in concert with our existing 3G and 4G base stations across the city, the small cells will deliver fast internet browsing, video streaming, social media or a mobile office to our customers.

By mid-year, we will take this one step further with the activation of additional LTE-Advanced features like Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) in the CBD to create a leading edge Heterogeneous Network (HetNet). This will further boost the efficiency and performance of the network in the CBD.

Now that we’ve successfully installed 4G small cell sites in Melbourne’s CBD, we will be looking to expand the small cells footprint in other CBD and urban areas. Some of these areas include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as well as our continuing use of them as an alternative for enhancing coverage in regional areas.

* Based on national average of combined 3G/4G mobile speeds.