Telstra 4G spreads, Next G still king

Telstra 4G spreads, Next G still king

Summary: Telstra has revealed that it is selling close to 40,000 "4G" devices per month, and has boasted that a new survey ranks Telstra's Next G network performance above that of Optus and Vodafone.

TOPICS: Telcos, Optus, Telstra

Telstra has revealed that it is selling close to 40,000 "4G" devices per month, and has boasted that a new survey ranks Telstra's Next G network performance above that of Optus and Vodafone.

The company today announced that it has turned on its 1000th long-term evolution (LTE) "4G" base station in Mackay, Queensland, with over 300,000 devices sold since launching the network in September last year.

Up until this week, Telstra had just two 4G phones in the market: the HTC Velocity 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G. This week, the company also launched the HTC Titan 4G. Telstra told ZDNet Australia that of the 300,000 devices sold so far, 70,000 are 4G phones; the rest are either tablets, USB dongles or mobile Wi-Fi devices.

At the same time as the company is experiencing a boom in 4G sales, it is also adding new customers to its 3G network at a record pace, gaining over 2.5 million new customers in almost two years. Customers have reported that this is putting a strain on the network, but Telstra said it has upgraded more than 5000 base stations over the last year to meet the growing demand.

The company backed up its credentials by pointing to a survey conducted by US research firm JD Power and Associates, which said that Telstra has the best mobile network in Australia.

The organisation spoke to 1900 Australian mobile customers between February and March this year, comparing texting, voice calls and data across Telstra, Optus, Virgin and Vodafone, and found that Telstra ranked highest overall, with only 10 customer-reported problems per 100 network connections. The next closest was Virgin Mobile, a subsidiary of Optus, with 13 per 100.

Overall, the report found that Australians have the most problems with slow downloads, at 24 problems per 100 connections, followed by web-connection failures, at 14 per 100. The report noted that the number of problems with Australian networks is relatively similar to that in the US, but Australians reported a slightly higher number of problems with downloads; 24 per 100, compared to 21 per 100 in the US.

Telstra's executive director of mobile, Warwick Bray, said that the results reflect Telstra's own research.

"Our customers tell us they choose Telstra for superior coverage, fewer dropped calls and because they can enjoy reliable mobile data on the move. The research findings confirm what our customers and drive surveys have told us for years, and are a testament to the skill of our network engineering team, which is among the most experienced in the world," Bray said.

Topics: Telcos, Optus, 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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  • The Telstra data shows that we are prepared to pay for bandwidth- even with a difficult to work-with partner like Telstra (although they are improving I have to admit from my recent experiences). Extrapolating from this, I think the NBN will be widely taken up by businesses and users. I know we are waiting for it with an anticipation that is terrrible to behold... in part to have high speed connections to our 4G Telstra devices- video conferencing almost anywhere will save us many dollars worth of travel and delay.

    The Telstra uptake rates leaves people opposed to the roll-out of the NBN in a difficult position- I think business will need it in a similar way that we needed the fax machine and then email- it was hard to imagine life before either of those examples, but not many businesses had the ability to see how a big a game changer either of those technologies presented. I can see the day more clearly, where the phone system is dead and that we are all connected by video connections, from both our mobile devices and our office communication systems and our (grand)children ask us, what's a phone.
  • Obviously no one in Bendigo Victoria was surveyed about Telstra performance. Next G mobile data in the CBD here has been broken for almost a year now. Still no resolution after various complaints...