Inside Telstra's super-fast 4G rollout

Inside Telstra's super-fast 4G rollout

Summary: Telstra's 4G upgrades are occurring in the unlikeliest of places. Even retirement homes.

TOPICS: Telcos, 4G, Telstra

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  • (Image: Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

    The site is connected back to the rest of Telstra's network through fibre backhaul. However, Vodafone has microwave backhaul infrastructure installed at this location.

    In addition to dealing with local councils and the community, the telco giant also needs to renegotiate with property owners to add the 4G network equipment to the building. Piper said the agreements need to cover all equipment that would be required for the upgrade, not just the antenna.

    The owner and manager of the Rose Bay retirement home has had an agreement with Telstra, as well as Optus and Vodafone, for several years.

  • (Image: Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

    Although Telstra is seen as being a very formidable negotiator within the government and the industry in general, Piper admitted that the owner was one of the toughest negotiators he has ever dealt with when it came time to get approval to add 4G network gear to her building.

  • (Image: Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

    In the case of Rose Bay Towers, there are a number of antennas stationed on the outside of the roof facing toward the affluent suburb of Bellevue Hill. There were a number of ways to go about an upgrade, but Piper said that because the building is on a busy street, the options were limited.

    "We use cherry pickers, cranes, depending on what it is. This one in particular, as you can see, you can't block off the street," he said. "It's [also] a block of units, so people don't want you working outside their window at night. We do some pretty different stuff."

    For this upgrade, Telstra opted to scale the building with a roper tasked with removing old antennas and replacing them with antennas for 3G and 4G. As veteran roper Graham suited up to climb over the roof and replace the antennas, he was quick to point out that he isn't a Rose Bay Towers resident.

Topics: Telcos, 4G, Telstra


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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