Telstra to extend reach of 4G network
Clickity click says big T, as it plans to reach 66% of Australia
Telstra has outlined plans to extend the reach of its 4G network, revealing today it will bathe “approximately two-thirds” 66% of Australia's population in fast wireless in the next ten months.
The population coverage claim needs to be read carefully in light of Telstra's explanation that the 1,000 new base stations it plans to deploy will be found in “Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.” That will indeed mean that an awful lot of Australians can access 4G, but also means Big T is not so keen on taking the new network into places where population densities – and revenue opportunities – are lower.
The blog post talking up the expansion also notes, perhaps a little enigmatically, that “Our vision is that 4G will become the dominant mobile technology in the coming years.” That's an innocent enough prediction, given the way of things in telco-land, but one that may also set minds pondering whether Telstra has pencilled in in a retirement date for the NextG network.
Fruity fanbois might also find broad lines to read between, given the allegedly imminent announcement of a new iPhone.
Surfboards ... fast internet ... 4G ... gedddit? Geddit?
For the time being Telstra is happy to talk up the fact that NextG and 4G combined mean just one percent of Australians are deprived of its mobile services.
The new 4G kit will, Telstra assures us, be switched on and beaming bits brightly by mid-2013. ®
66% of the population
That is: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and maybe Perth.
Your grammar checker is not enabled
"... into places were population densities..."
NBN - 50% at 12/1Mbps
NBNCo predicted in both the previous and current NBNCo Corporate Plan that 50% of fibre connections will be at 12/1Mbps. Once the heavier users are moved off 4G on to fibre, it should leave plenty of room for many low end users. Telstra are already building additional mobile towers in areas that are serviced by the NBN.
NBNCo tried and failed to prevent Optus and Telstra from marketing wireless as a competitor. At the low end of the market, Optus and Telstra can expect to win on price and speed. NBN will win on quotas. For low end users quotas won't mater.
What many are yet to appreciate is that more and more people have a mobile plan which includes a data component and tethering is easy. For people to connect to the NBN, it is an additional cost - $60+ a month if they want a faster than 4G connection. $60 will buy 8GB of extra data, which is not much for a high end users, but more than ample for many people.
I expect we will see campaigns from the mobile operators as soon as they have a bit more real world experience with their 4G networks. If the wireless operators can steal enough NBN customers, then it will push the NBN prices up making wireless more competitive.