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Telstra outlines plans to expand 4G reach and capacity

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telstrafacebookthumbTelstra has outlined plans to expand on its popular 4G network to ensure it can cope with the increasing demands of the Australian smartphone user.

With more than half of the Australian population owning a smartphone, Telstra is looking at new ways to cope with the surge in data use that is expected in 2013 and beyond.

It’s a good chance that anyone looking to update their smartphone on the Telstra network in 2013 will opt for a 4G device which can deliver data at high speed in good coverage areas.

Customers are expected to consume as much data in 2013 alone than they have on the past two years combined, according to Telstra.

To broaden the reach of the Telstra 4G network the company will add a second wireless frequency (900Mhz) to increase reach and capacity in rural areas.

As part of its $1.2 billion investment, Telstra is also trialling the next generation 4G technology called LTE (long term evolution) Advanced.

LTE Advanced uses the 900Mhz and 1800Mhz spectrum bands together to allow for more data to be carried and unlocking more capacity to cope with growing smartphone use.

Telstra, in conjunction with its long-term network partner Ericsson, is also trialling small cell networks – also called heterogeneous networks or HetNets – to increase capacity in busy areas like sporting stadiums and city centres.

This makes it easier to target high traffic areas and expand the network where it would be difficult to build full-scale base stations.

“More than half of all Australians now own a smartphone – up from 32% in 2010 – and we’re increasingly using them not just for work but for entertainment too,” said Telstra Chief Operations Officer Brendon Riley said.

“Today, more than 70 per cent of our customers use their smartphone to watch video content, with YouTube, music videos and movie trailers proving most popular.

“We’re also seeing a huge increase in the number of people using their smartphone as their primary tool for searching and social networking, ahead of a traditional PC. In fact, the average Australian now spends a record 12 hours per week accessing the internet on a smartphone or tablet device.

“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.”

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