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Tag: networks

Our record breaking weekend for sports streaming


Posted on August 10, 2018

4 min read

If ever proof was needed Australians love their sport, last weekend Telstra customers set new records for the number of people streaming sports content on our Official AFL, NRL, and Netball Live mobile apps.

We had an AFL round where five games were decided by less than a goal; the NRL had several upsets and some high scoring games; and netball saw results decide who would contest this year’s finals series.

That saw a record number of more than 1.2 million devices being used by people to stream sport on our sports apps. We also set a record for the most concurrent video streamers we have ever seen at any one point in time, across our sports apps. The great news was that all of this happened with no major issues. We have come a long way in a short time in terms of the maturity of our products, platforms, teams and live event production and monitoring.

Our record weekend was not a one off either – this season we have seen a 58 per cent increase in the overall number of customers streaming games. On any given weekend, our customers are streaming almost 40 million minutes of live content over our sporting apps, which puts them among the world’s leading examples for real-time sports consumption.

Mobile connectivity means today’s fans can be immersed in a live game, have the latest statistics at their fingertips and even experience the action from the position of the central umpire who is wearing a camera and within arm’s reach of their team’s star players. We know how important every play, every decision and every score in a game can be which is why we continue to put so much effort into the development of our products, platforms, live event production and monitoring.

Across the board, video streaming of entertainment content continues to be a major driver of the rapid increase in mobile data, whether it be on sports apps, Foxtel, Netflix and other streaming services or catch-up TV. Today, video streaming accounts for 40 per cent of activity on our mobile network and we predict it will account for 75 per cent of all mobile network usage by 2022.

Our challenge – and it is one we take incredibly seriously – is keeping ahead of Australia’s appetite for entertainment content. That means finding new ways to deliver the best experience for our customers, all while freeing up capacity and bandwidth in the network so we can continue to support future growth.

We are doing this by continuing to lead in introducing new technologies such as LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) functionality on the AFL Live Official app for customers using Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S9 and S9+ devices. We are the only operator in Australia – and one of the first in the world – to do so on a mobile network.

This gives us the ability to broadcast a single stream of content to large groups of people in the same area, enabling them to watch the same content on their devices at once, instead of requesting independent streams of content over our mobile network. This helps provide a better experience for our customers watching the game and frees up network capacity for everyone else.

We have also introduced High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) technology. As video streaming audiences continue to grow, it helps us to maintain a high quality experience for customers while keeping requirements for data transfer on the network at a consistent level.

We will take a similar leadership approach when 5G technologies become mainstream. We are investing to build the networks of the future because demand for our core products and services – including our sports apps – has never been greater. We have seen data growth at 50 per cent per annum and telecommunications networks have become the most critical infrastructure in the world today.

They say all records are made to be broken and we do not expect last weekend’s sport streaming record to be any different, particularly as we head into the finals race across the various codes. Our role is to keep our customers in the box seat, with the best sports content, the best technology and innovation and above all – a world class experience from wherever they are tuning in from.

Tags: networks,

We’re ranked #1 in speed


Posted on August 1, 2018

4 min read

Telstra’s fixed and mobile network capabilities keep millions of consumers and businesses connected every day and we are committed to delivering the best experience for our customers.

That’s why we are thrilled to learn we’ve been named the fastest broadband provider nationally in Australia on both mobile and fixed networks in the 2018 Speedtest® Awards by Ookla®*, a global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network speed testing and analysis.

Telstra has won the fastest mobile network nationally from Speedtest every year it has been run since 2015, and this has helped ensure Australia is consistently in the top 10 for mobile broadband speeds in the Ookla Global Index.

However this year we have also been named fastest ISP nationally. Our win in fixed speeds reflects the investment we have made in delivering an improved performance across our ADSL and HFC networks and on the nbn.

This fixed network result with Ookla is consistent with the fact we have placed at the top of the Netflix Speed Index every month for the past five months.

On the mobiles side, Telstra has continued our rollout of gigabit capable^ 4GX in major cities and 4GX upgrades around the country, which means 93 per cent of the population now has access to double the speeds that were available when we first turned on 4G in 2011.

The rollout of new wireless technologies such as these has meant we have been named in the Speedtest award as Australia’s Fastest Mobile Network nationally for the first half of 2018. We performed particularly well in Sydney**, Brisbane**, the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth, where we are the clear winner when it comes to mobile speeds.

The results of Telstra’s continued investment in network leadership can be seen in measures like the Speedtest by Ookla results as well as the continued expansion of our coverage footprint and leadership in developing and deploying new technologies, including LTE-Broadcast and our preparations for 2Gbps enabled LTE and 5G.

In June we set ourselves the target of leading in all key network performance surveys and the latest Ookla results are a positive sign of our progress on this goal. And while no survey or measure is perfect, Telstra has consistently won a number of credible surveys especially on the more important metrics of data speed and performance. That is where Telstra shines through across more than a dozen different awards in recent years and where we are committed to continuing to lead.

View the 2018 Speedtest Awards by Ookla here.

* Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data for Q1–Q2 2018. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

** Fastest average download speeds in Sydney and Brisbane are based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data for Q2 2018.

^ Telstra’s gigabit enabled coverage is available in the Sydney and Melbourne CBD plus ~4km, Adelaide CBD plus ~3.0km, Brisbane and Perth CBD plus ~2km and a number of additional sites in selected high traffic areas. Typical customer speeds will be less.

Globally, more than 20 billion user initiated tests have been conducted from Speedtest. In Australia, the Ookla Speedtest Awards are based on the performance of all major network operators in the six months from 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2018, and measured across more than 481,000 users and 1.7 million tests for the mobile award and over 9.8 million users and 15.8 million tests for the fixed network award.

Tags: networks,

Australia’s first LTE-B tech supporting sports streaming


Posted on July 12, 2018

3 min read

Real-time streaming is transforming the way we consume entertainment, and in particular how we watch sport.

Our sporting apps are now becoming some of the world’s leading examples of real-time sports consumption. In fact, Telstra is now streaming live sports content to a massive base of around 1.2 million devices each weekend and sports fans consume 37 million minutes of live content over our apps on any given weekend.

This increase brings new challenges to the way traffic on our mobile network is managed. Even though a large group of people might be streaming the same real-time content at the same time, we still need to ensure a high quality streaming experience for our customers.

This challenge makes our sporting apps a prime use case for LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B).

Earlier this year, we announced we would be turning on LTE-B functionality on the AFL Live Official app for Telstra customers with Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 devices. Following extensive testing, Telstra is the only operator in Australia – and one of the first in the world – to deploy LTE-B into its mobile network.

At a live demonstration in Sydney, over 100 Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 devices were on display showing simultaneous high definition content from the AFL Live Official app using LTE-B.

At the same time, a second batch of devices delivering the content by conventional unicast showed how normal networks can be saturated with demand leading to lower quality and stalling of content.

Telstra has continued to invest in network capacity and optimise our network to meet the demand for video sporting content for subscribers of the AFL, NRL and Netball Live Passes. Last year we announced 1.5 million subscribers and that figure is continuing to increase.

Now, we have integrated LTE-B technology into the AFL Live Official app, which is delivering better quality video and audio experience for broadcast content, even in high traffic areas.

LTE-B technology is currently exclusive to the AFL Live Official app on Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 devices. More devices and applications will be added over the coming months.

Tags: lte-b, networks,

Demonstrating a 5G future for eSports


Posted on June 13, 2018

2 min read

Telstra, Intel and Ericsson recently demonstrated one of the world’s first esports gaming experiences over 5G, showcasing the power of 5G’s ultra-low latency that professional and amateur gamers alike can expect in the future.

Esports are the fastest growing spectator sports in the world, with millions of fans regularly tuning in online to watch pro gamers compete for glory.

Technology has proven to be a critical component to the success of esports, and this recent 5G demonstration shows the next generation of mobile technology will help to take esports to new heights.

Pro esports team The Chiefs joined Telstra, Intel and Ericsson at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast to experience the technical capabilities of 5G. The team experienced ultra-low latency of around five to six milliseconds, which is around four times lower than the average latency of 4G today.

Latency is the time it takes for data to be sent between two points, so it is crucial in the world of gaming when milliseconds can literally mean the difference between winning and losing.

This gaming demonstration show how that ultra-low latency is possible over 5G, a benefit of the new technology that will underpin a host of use cases, including autonomous cars, drones and remote control of machinery.

mmWave wireless connectivity was used inside the Centre to power the demonstration, enabled through Ericsson’s 5G base station and core network. Intel provided its Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform, which allows for quick implementation of the latest air interfaces and communication protocols.

The Chiefs were one of the first esports teams in the world to experience gaming over 5G, which was streamed live to other gamers around the world on Twitch. The team was also joined by esports host Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixsen and Gold Coast Suns co-captain Tom Lynch.

Telstra is continuing to test next-generation mobile technologies in Australian conditions to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia. 5G has the potential to change the way we live and work, and this 5G gaming demonstration shows it will unleash a host of new opportunities.

Tags: 5g, networks,

Bridging the coverage gap: The Telstra 4GX-lite Mobile Satellite Small Cell

Regional Network

Posted on June 12, 2018

4 min read

Today we’ve launched the Telstra 4GX-lite Mobile Satellite Small Cell, a new solution to help people living and working in some of Australia’s most remote places purchase their own coverage extension of our 4GX mobile service.

With the Telstra mobile network now covering 99.4 per cent of the population, we’ve been looking for an innovative solution to bring mobile coverage to the remaining 0.6 per cent of the population who live in rural and remote pockets of Australia.

The Telstra 4GX-lite Mobile Satellite Small Cell is a smaller, lower cost version of a standard mobile base station that uses satellite backhaul to give customers access to Telstra’s 4GX-lite service which can support voice, email, messaging, social media posts, browsing and basic data. Due to constraints with the satellite backhaul it is not intended to support data heavy applications, like high definition video streaming or video calling and conferencing.

With the Telstra mobile network now covering 99.4 per cent of the population, we’ve been looking for an innovative solution to bring mobile coverage to the remaining 0.6 per cent.

We know how frustrating it can be for many businesses and communities in regional areas who want to use the innovative technology on offer to grow their businesses or connect their people, but due to cost and distance from existing infrastructure they are unable to get mobile coverage.

This innovative solution will bridge that gap.

The Satellite Small Cell is funded by co-contributions from Telstra and the customer, where the customer pays an initial amount to cover the cost of installation and we build and maintain the small cell, reducing the cost of gaining access to new coverage from hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new base station to tens of thousands.

Essentially, the customer determines the capacity and depth of mobile coverage that they need and then works with us to craft a solution that works for them. It’s an exciting new option for communities and businesses like mines, roadhouses, farms and agricultural business.

Queensland’s Winton Council will be the first customer to use the Telstra 4GX-lite Satellite Small Cell, using the solution to bring coverage to some parts of the Winton shire for the first time and to help grow tourism in the area. Winton is a remote area, driven by rural industry and tourism – all industries where mobile coverage can provide so much in terms of innovation, connectivity and safety.

Successful trials have been held over the last 12 months at five sites across Australia, with a total of 16 trial sites expected to be on air by July 2018. We aim to deliver up to 500 Satellite Small Cells over the next three years.

The Telstra 4GX-lite Mobile Satellite Small Cell is one of a number of products Telstra has specifically designed to improve mobile coverage for remote and regional Australians, including the Yagi antennae and the Telstra Go Repeater.

The launch of the Telstra 4GX-lite Mobile Satellite Small Cell builds on our successful contribution to improving coverage for all Australians and provides a useful complement to the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, which has so far seen mobile coverage extended to more than 170,000 square kilometres of country Australia.

Telstra 4GX-lite Mobile Satellite Small Cell facts

  • This product is only available where there is no existing Telstra mobile coverage.
  • It is suited to small rural and remote communities such as tourism hotspots, remote roadhouses, mines and centres of agri-business.
  • The small cell will be on a standalone platform or attached to an existing building on the customer’s land, provided by the customer at no cost to Telstra.
  • In most cases, the customer will provide mains power for the small cell at no on-going cost to Telstra (single 10 amp circuit required). Options can be tailored to meet the customer’s budget.
  • Telstra provides and installs all the necessary equipment, with the cost of installation payable by the customer.
  • Coverage is provided via Telstra’s 4GX 700 MHz band.
  • Voice calls will require VoLTE enabled 4GX devices.