The switch to 3G requires a new handset, such as the Telstra F850.
Telstra has revealed that for the first time, there are more subscribers to its third generation Next G network than its 2G CDMA counterparts, with over one million users adopting 3G technology.
According to Telstra, the company now has over two million users on its 3G networks: Next G and the 2100 MHz 3G network it shares with Hutchison. The telco said the number of 3G subscribers across its networks has increased by 530 percent in the 12 months to June 2007.
Analyst firm IDC expects almost 6.8 million mobile phones to be sold in Australia this year, and of those, almost 4.2 million will be W-CDMA -- one type of 3G -- devices.
Telstra could not provide details on how many of the subscriptions are for data cards, which provide connectivity for laptop users without the need for Wi-Fi, and how many are for mobile phones. Industry research company Ovum predicts there will be over 10.5 million data card subscriptions in the Asia-Pacific region by 2011, up from just over three million this year.
The number of Next G subscribers is expected to increase as Telstra prepares to close its CDMA service. The telco plans to shut down the network in January and has stated its 3G Next G network will equal or beat the performance of CDMA by that point.
The scheduled closure has attracted a great deal of controversy in recent weeks. Following government concern over performance and coverage, Communications Minister Helen Coonan introduced a draft guideline this week that will prevent the closure until regulators are satisfied Next G is up to scratch.