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How far we’ve come: celebrating the 25th anniversary of 2G

Network

Posted on April 27, 2018

3 min read

Time flies when you’re having fun. Today is the 25 year anniversary of the Global System for Mobiles network, otherwise known as GSM or 2G.

On 27 April 1993, Telstra was the first telecommunications provider in Australia to launch GSM, which was the second generation of mobile technology after analog. At the time, just making a phone call on the move was a novelty and it took some time to convince the Australian public that digital technology was here to stay.

But 2G made the mobile phone accessible to the mass market and Australians embraced the new ‘digital’ world. With promises of more consistent and clearer voice, increased talk time and greater security from eavesdropping (a big selling point in the media and political landscape of the early 90s), the technology quickly gained popularity.

By 1995, our GSM network had 100,000 customers, in 1996 that had risen to 300,000 and at the beginning of 2003 there were over 5.4 million customers using the network1.

Our mobile network and telecommunications more broadly has come a long way since that launch. Technology evolved and customers moved onto our 3G and 4G services that offer faster speeds and experiences one could only have dreamed about in 1993.

We’re now preparing for the launch of 5G in 2019, which will see even faster speeds, ultra low latency, and connection IoT devices on a mass scale.

We closed our 2G service in December 2016. At that time, 2G accounted for less than 1 per cent of our mobile network traffic. From launch to closure, 2G helped Australians make more than 87 billion phone calls and send billions of text messages over the network.

1993:

  • At launch, 55 per cent of the population had 2G coverage, which included all mainland capitals except for Darwin. At that time 85 per cent of the population had 1G coverage
  • At launch, there were only 635,000 analogue mobile phones in Australia, with less than 4 per cent of people having one
  • By December 1993, there were 660 base stations around Australia
  • 2G could handle 20,000 simultaneous calls and connected 53 million calls a month

Today:

  • Telstra’s 3G and 4G coverage combined reaches 99.4 per cent of the population. It covers 2.5 million square kilometres of the Australian landmass, including hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of regional and rural Australia not served by any other carrier
  • There are more than 17 million mobile devices on Telstra’s mobile network
  • Telstra has more than 9,200 sites across the network around Australia
  • Telstra’s mobile network connects 460 million calls, sends 47 million text messages, and carries more than 45 petabytes of data each month
  • 1. AMTA: Ten years of GSM in Australia

Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S9

Devices

Posted on March 6, 2018

3 min read

Unveiled at Samsung’s massive Unpacked event in Barcelona last week, the Samsung Galaxy S9 will be available to purchase on selected plans from Telstra March 16. If you want to check Samsung’s latest phone out before you buy it, there will be preview models in the majority of Telstra stores around the country from today.

For those that want to know exactly what you’ll be getting when you unbox your very own Samsung Galaxy S9, here’s a preview of everything you’ll receive from us – including our pre-order bonus of a Samsung Wireless Charger Convertible and additional Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017) tablet.

At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy S9 shares a similar look and feel to Samsung’s previous top smartphone, the S8. You might recognise it because Samsung has continued with the beautiful edge-to-edge 5.8-inch Infinity Display with Quad HD+ resolution.

On the front of the phone, you’ll also see the 8-megapixel selfie camera as well as Samsung’s iris recognition security features (top left and right).

When you turn it over, you’ll get your first look at the Galaxy S9’s innovative 12-megapixel camera, whose dual-aperture lens adapts to the photograph depending on lighting conditions. If you look carefully, you can actually see the apertures change when you’re taking photos.

The other noticeable feature here is that Samsung has moved the fingerprint sensor from the S8 to the centre line of the phone – further away from the camera, making lens smudges far less likely.

From this view you can also see the heart rate sensor to the right of the camera.

On the bottom of the handset, we can see that while other devices have moved away from including a 3.5mm headphone port, the Samsung Galaxy S9 retains it – meaning that you can use both Bluetooth or wired headphones, like those included in the box. There is also a multipurpose USB Type-C connector for charging, data transfer, or connecting other accessories.

The headphones included in the box are of an ergonomically designed earbud style, lightweight and comfortable. They have been tuned and branded by Samsung’s partner AKG, and have a 3.5mm jack to connect directly to the S9. A packet of small, medium and large silicon earbud tips is included to suit different ear sizes.

You will also find a fast-charging Samsung travel USB power adapter and USB-C cable in the box. Another USB connector in the box lets you directly connect your existing phone to easily transfer your data during the initial setup of your new S9.

Of course, all the necessary extras are included too – like an ejection pin to help you insert SIM cards or microSD memory cards, a basic clear plastic case to help you protect the phone, and some paperwork which includes a Quick Start Guide, the Warranty Card (which we recommend you always hold on to) and guide on how to transfer content to your brand new Galaxy S9.

If you want to get yourself a proper hands-on experience, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are available to preview in most Telstra stores starting today.

If you are already convinced that this is your next phone, then you can take advantage of our exclusive pre-order offer – a bonus Samsung Wireless Charger Convertible and a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017), available to customers on eligible mobile plans. Click here for more information.

10 things to love about Google Pixel 2

Devices

Posted on October 6, 2017

4 min read

The next evolution of Google’s popular smartphone line, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, is coming to Telstra. As the exclusive telco partner for both phones in Australia we’re excited to show you what these phones are capable of on our network.

Here’s 10 reasons to love the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL:

  1. Fresh, sleek, bold design

An evolution of last year’s design, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL features a fresh and even bolder look that feels great in your hands. The signature glass-aluminium design is back with an elegantly crafted glass shade made of 3D Gorilla Glass 5, topped with a blazing fast fingerprint sensor, right where your finger expects it.

  1. World’s highest-rated smartphone camera

With a DxOMark Mobile score of 98, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL feature the highest-rated smartphone camera ever with brilliant photos and standout videos in any light. There’s also an all new Portrait mode for crisp, beautiful portraits and selfies with a gorgeous background blur.

  1. Unlimited online storage for your Pixel 2 photos and videos

Enjoy unlimited online storage for photos and videos taken with Pixel 2 in Google Photos. With Google Photos baked directly into your camera, it’s easy to save, organise, find and share any photo or video. No more endless scrolling to find an old photo. Just enter a location, a person’s name or even an emoji and quickly find what you’re looking for.

  1. Telstra Wi-Fi Calling supported

Both devices are also Telstra Wi-Fi Calling enabled, extending basic voice call coverage over supported Wi-Fi networks to places in a home or apartment when leaving 4G coverage. This means free calling on Australia’s best mobile network wherever you have a good Wi-Fi connection.

  1. Long-lasting, fast-charging battery

The Pixel 2 comes with a battery that lasts as long as you do, and charges superfast. With a full charge, your Pixel can last all day. No time? No worries – you’ll get up to 7 hours of battery from just 15 minutes of charge.

  1. Be the first to try Google Lens

Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners are the first to try Google Lens in Google Photos. Lens is a new set of visual smarts that help you learn about the world around you and get things done. Learn more about landmarks, artwork, books, movies, music albums, and even video games. Copy and share URLs from posters and ads or save phone numbers and email addresses right to your contacts.

  1. Have your own personal assistant

The built-in Google Assistant is the easiest and fastest way to find answers and get things done on your Pixel. To pull up your Google Assistant, just squeeze the sides of your phone, say “Ok Google” or long press the Home button. Spend less time digging in settings, say “turn on night light”, “turn on do not disturb” or “change my ringtone” and your Google Assistant will make it happen.

  1. Free Google Home Mini

This year Telstra customers will also receive the Google Home Mini as gift with purchase with Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the compact and mighty new addition to the Google Home Family (while stocks last).

  1. Seamless switching

It’s easier than ever to switch to Pixel. Transfer your stuff from your old phone in around 10 minutes or less – photos, videos, music, contacts, calendar events, apps, messages and more.

  1. Better together

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL are made to work seamlessly with your Google devices. Send a message to your Google Home while you’re away from home. Say “Ok Google, broadcast. I’ll be home soon” and your Assistant can help you relay your message. And pairing your supported Bluetooth devices is easier than ever with Fast Pair.

Both devices are available for pre-order now (Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL) and plans will include all the great extras exclusively available to Telstra mobile customers like unlimited Wi-Fi at over one million Telstra Air hotspots around Australia and 20 million Fon hotspots worldwide.

Things you need to know

Google photos: Unlimited original quality online storage for photos and videos taken with Pixel 2 until Jan 15 2021, and high quality storage for photos taken with Pixel 2 afterwards. Requires Google account and internet connection. Data charges apply for upload and download.

4G coverage: The Telstra Mobile Network offers 4G in all capital CBDs and associated airports, most surrounding suburban areas and in over 600 regional towns. You’ll automatically switch to our fastest available 3G in other coverage areas around Australia. Check coverage at telstra.com/coverage

Gold Coast SUN’s Tom Lynch talks sport streaming

Entertainment

Posted on September 29, 2017

2 min read

Last week, Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith revealed to us he catches the footy on the massage table, and an unnamed teammate was caught out streaming the game at a christening!

The demand by both players and consumers to stream mobile sports on-the-move is rapidly increasing. This year, we announced a 500 per cent year on year growth[1] in Live Pass subscribers across Super Netball, AFL and NRL.

AFL Live App subscribers now total over 1 million, a gain of 760,000 new sign-ups this year alone. Footy-mad fans tuned into an average of 38 minutes per 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership Season game via the Official Live App, totalling a whopping 325 million streamed minutes!

The average audience per game was 50,000, and the most watched game was Geelong’s astonishing three-point victory over Hawthorn in Round 17, watched by 91,960 fans. But it was the GWS GIANTS who took the crown for the most watched club on the Live App, with 1 million fans.

Telstra-partnered Official Live Passes available on mobile devices keep fans connected to live sport which they may otherwise miss due to busy lifestyles – and this year’s unprecedented growth in digital streaming positions Telstra as the leading digital sports network in Australia.

We met Tom Lynch for a lively chat about how he and his teammates catch the game, as we head into one of the biggest sporting weekends of the year. Enjoy.

AFL Live Pass. Stream it live, fast and data-free. Included in all Telstra mobile plans and select recharges. For more information, visit https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer.

[1] Live Pass subscribers’ vs 2016, July 2017

Cameron Smith chats Stream Teams as footy finals series underway

Entertainment

Posted on September 22, 2017

2 min read

In a three-part series, Telstra speaks to players from the AFL, NRL and Netball about their season, and what Telstra-partnered Official Live Passes reveal about the season’s top games, clubs and the fans that watch them.

Six months ago, we predicted a landmark year for live mobile sports streaming in Australia. Since then, eligible Telstra mobile customers have streamed their favourite sports live, fast and data free via official Telstra AFL, NRL and Netball Live passes, and all three apps available online.

Demand has been unprecedented – in August we announced a 500 per cent year on year growth[1] in Live Pass subscribers for all three codes so far for the season. The subscriber uplift in 2017 equates to 1.5 million fans[2], with 5.45 million unique sports lovers tuning into AFL, NRL and Super Netball games every month via Telstra-partnered official mobile apps and websites.

With NRL Live App subscribers now totalling over half a million, an astounding 260 per cent increase since 2016, the unprecedented growth in digital streaming positions Telstra as the leading sports network in Australia.

The changing nature of mobile sports consumption, plus the extraordinary demand for sports mad fans to stream their favourite sport anywhere, at any time is evolving Telstra’s Live Pass products.

We met Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith to look back over the NRL season, both on the pitch and in the NRL Live App, and find out how he and his team mates catch the game.

NRL Live Pass. Stream it live, fast and data-free. Included in all Telstra mobile plans and select recharges. For more information, visit https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer.

[1] Live Pass subscribers’ vs 2016, July 2017

[2] 1.45 million new Live Pass subscribers since 31 February 2017