Australian mobile market leader Telstra has reminded customers still utilising its 3G infrastructure operating over the 2100MHz band that they may need to upgrade their handsets as its prepares to shut down the network. With around a month to go before services are wound down on Telstra’s legacy infrastructure, the operator has called on subscribers to ensure that they have devices which will allow them to continue receiveing services over the cellco’s 850MHz 3G network, affectionately dubbed ‘Next G’. The older third-generation infrastructure – known as ‘3GIS’ – was created as a joint venture with Hutchison in 2004, but has been superseded by the more advanced Next G network which offers both 3G and 4G technology, and Telstra is planning to cease providing mobile services on the 3GIS network on 31 August 2012. Mike Wright, Telstra’s executive director, said of the development: ‘The 3GIS network provides less than 9,000 square kilometres of coverage and is restricted to the metropolitan centres of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and some satellite cities. In contrast, the Telstra Next G network provides more than 2.2 million square kilometres of coverage and is capable of delivering significantly faster 3G data speeds and now 4G data speeds in select locations. Exiting services on the earlier 3GIS network will allow Telstra to focus its ongoing investment on the Next G network.’ The change, however, is expected to affect only a limited number of customers, in part as more than five years have passed since Telstra last offered mobile devices configured to run 3G services on the 3GIS network only.
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