blog Right now the nation’s biggest telco Telstra is on top of the world when it comes to its mobile network. It’s got more than 1.5 million customers, at a time when Optus won’t say how many it has and Vodafone has precisely zero. And it looks to have snared the lion’s share of iPhone 5 buyers as well, selling more than 500,000 of the Apple units in the second half of 2012.
Right now, Telstra’s greatest issue with its mobile infrastructure as a whole might just be keeping ahead of customer demand for it. With this in mind, this morning the telco revealed it would add a second spectrum band, 900Mhz, to its existing 1800Mhz 4G infrastructure, as well as undertake a variety of other initiatives to keep its mobile network on track. The telco said in a statement this morning:
Telstra Chief Operations Officer Brendon Riley said Telstra was looking at new ways to plan for the ongoing surge in mobile data traffic on its networks, with Telstra customers expected to use as much mobile data in 2013 as they did in the past two years combined.
“We need to cater for the extraordinary growth in demand for mobile services – today and into the future – to make sure Telstra and our customers remain at the forefront of mobile connectivity.”
The strategy is part of Telstra’s $1.2 billion wireless network investment for 2012-13 that will include trialling and introducing advanced technology across the country. Mr Riley said Telstra was broadening the scope of its 4G network, adding a second wireless frequency (900MHz spectrum) to better cater for increasing mobile use in regional areas.
The lower frequency of the 900MHz spectrum band improves signal range and depth making it ideal for use in areas where improved range or signal reliability is required.
Telstra is also trialling the next generation of wireless 4G technology, known as LTE-Advanced with plans to introduce it later this year in areas with heavy traffic demand over a greater distance. LTE-Advanced uses the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands together, allowing more data to be carried faster, unlocking more capacity for mobile use.
In addition to these measures, Telstra is trialling small cell networks – known as heterogeneous networks (HetNets) – to expand network capacity in busy locations with a dense population such as city centres and sporting stadiums. This can complement our existing network by targeting high traffic areas where it would be difficult to build additional large scale base stations.
The works are being undertaken with Telstra’s long-term partner, Ericsson, which is the sole supplier for the rollout of Telstra’s LTE network.
Image credit: Telstra