Australia’s largest cellco by subscribers Telstra has announced a milestone in the rollout of its 4G network, revealing that, having deployed its 3,500th Long Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled base stations, its infrastructure is now available to 85% of the population. With the latest cell site inaugurated in Hamilton Island, Telstra has said that more than 300 regional towns now have access to the superfast speeds offered over its LTE network, while 1,500 base stations had reportedly been upgraded over the past six months in order to reach the self-imposed 85% target set back in June 2013; at that date population coverage stood at 66%.
Max Jennings, the company’s director of wireless network engineering noted: ‘The additional network capacity made available with the addition of 4G will help ease the network congestion previously experienced in some regional areas as family, friends and visitors flock to their favourite holiday spots,’ adding: ‘The addition of 4G in these areas also helps free up capacity in for our 3G customers may also see an improvement on past experiences. It’s important to note that even with our ongoing investment, the large surge in population in some holiday areas means some customers may still experience slower than expected data at peak times.’
With Telstra saying that the expansion of the 4G network was now complete, in 2014 the company aims to switch its focus to the introduction of faster speeds via the deployment of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology. Further, it has said it plans to deploy new spectrum to add more network capacity, speed and reliability.