Telstra delivers early boost for mobile customers

Media Release, 22 July 2016

Telstra has delivered a significant speed boost for mobile customers in North Queensland and South Australia, with up to 200 sites receiving up to 50 per cent more 4G capacity.

Telstra’s Group Manager Director of Networks Mike Wright said the boost will mean customers can enjoy better experiences when using their mobiles for things like streaming video and music.

“We are proud to be able to deliver this additional speed to our customers. This is possible because of our significant investment which helped us secure additional 1800 MHz spectrum in regional areas across Australia.

“We will keep investing to make sure our customers, particularly in regional and rural areas, have the best mobile experience on Australia’s biggest mobile network.

“As we obtain full access to the spectrum we purchased at auction this will include delivering 4G speed boosts to customers in other areas including Canberra, Darwin, Dubbo, Albury, Tasmania, and many more,” he said.

Some of the areas in North Queensland and South Australia that are already benefitting from the 4G speed boost are Cairns, Townsville, Ayr, Innisfail, Port Douglas, Mossman, Ingham and Charters Towers. Ceduna, Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay, Port Pirie, Whyalla, Victor Harbour, Goolwa, Renmark, Mount Gambier and Robe.

Mr Wright said Telstra had invested $191 million to secure 57 blocks of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band, more than any other bidder, during the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) auction in February this year. This spectrum acquisition adds to the purchase of 700MHz and 2600MHz spectrum – double that of any other bidder - in the 2013 digital dividend auctions at a cost of $1.3billion.

“This latest investment, at least doubles and in some places triples the amount of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band that we may use to provide 4G services in some areas. The 1800MHz was the foundational band for 4G in Australia and it will benefit all 4G customers, even those with earlier 4G devices.”

“The extra spectrum which is being deployed here by Telstra ahead of schedule, creates more 4G capacity – helping meet customers’ growing demand for mobile data – and when combined with our superior holdings of 700MHz deployed at many of the same sites it becomes part of our 4GX service supporting even faster speeds for customers with 4GX devices,” he said.

Mr Wright said Telstra was the first provider to bring 4G mobile services to regional Australia and was the first with peak network speeds of 300 and 600 Mbps. Telstra has rapidly expanded 4G coverage to reach 98 per cent of the population. It plans to reach 99 per cent of the population by the end of June 2017.

“Australia’s mobile market is very dynamic, which is why we’ll continue to take every opportunity to improve our customers’ experiences on the Telstra network. Strong competition is delivering better results for customers and we are proud to offer the best experience on the best mobile network,” he said.