Telstra boosts Next G reach

Telstra boosts Next G reach

Summary: Telstra has unveiled an upgrade to its Next G mobile high-speed data network that it claims has delivered download speeds of up to 2.3Mbps at a range of 200km.


Telstra has unveiled an upgrade to its Next G mobile high-speed data network that it claims has delivered download speeds of up to 2.3Mbps at a range of 200km.

The Next G network, which is based on technology from the Swedish communications technology company Ericsson, was originally designed to cover distances of up to 50km from each base station. The extended distances were not originally slated to be introduced until the end of this year, and have been achieved by implementing Ericsson's Extended Reach software at selected base stations. Both parties have touted the performance as a world first.

Telstra's executive director of wireless engineering and optimisation, Mike Wright, said further optimisation work will take place through 2007, in the hope that by next year the network will live up to Telstra's undertaking that it will perform as well as or better than the CDMA network it replaces.

A small number of high mountaintop sites have already been activated, with around 40 to be switched on later this week. The upgraded sites have a maximum download speed of 14.4Mbps, but at much shorter distances.

Locations for the new service range from the mountainous areas of central New South Wales and Victoria to the North West coast of Western Australia. Wright said the sites were selected to further extend the existing reach of the Next G network, and will also benefit coastal shipping and oil rig workers, and even some aviation users. He said any device will work over the extended distance, if set up in the right signal environment with the right antenna configuration.

-Now we can not only offer a voice service over those distances, we can also offer broadband services," Wright claimed. -We'll monitor customer performance, and if we find an opportunity, we will continue to optimise the network."

He added that Telstra contributed detailed requirements and experience to the project, but declined to say whether the carrier had retained any of the intellectual property from the trial. The requirements saw Ericsson undertake extensive modifications to its software, although these were agreed when targets for the new network were set in late 2005.

Brad Howarth travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Ericsson.

Topics: Telcos, Mobility, Networking, Telstra

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  • Good News

    I'm about 50kms offshore Exmouth now and can only very sporadically pick up an emergency only signal with my telstra 3g phone. So any improvement in the range of this service would be great.
  • Get real

    No where does the article say HOW it was achieved. Telstra is the master of spin - you can be sure that it wasn't a standard hand-held phone working over that distance. When installing 899-900 MHz systems years ago, we were lucky to get 70-100km with hi-gain aerials on 30metre towers on the top of line-of-site hills. This claim from Telstra I'll take with a grain of salt along with their other claims for the NextG network. I guess I'll be waiting forever to see their (or Ericssons) test results.
  • Another baseless performance claim for the ACCC to investigate.

    When you do the path loss calculations, considering the antenna systems and power levels at each end, the 2.3Mbps at 200km claim is clearly impossible.

    When will carriers stop making implausible claims? When will journalists do some "back of an envelope" calculations to make sure that their story is sound?

    Not soon, it seems.
  • Years Ago

    As you said years ago they could only just get 70 to 100m, technology has advanced dramtically since then, hence the 80 core processor
  • 200km range from a hand held device?

    I certainly wouldn't want to be buying real estate from both Telstra and Ericsson.

    Maybe these conditions can be acheived with the wind blowing in favourable direction, a waxing moon phase and a cow producing methane upwind.
  • Another backyard expert

    These real test results were presented to the real experts at the 3GSM forum, do you think they would be a gullible as you might thing we are. These are real tested results and not political rhetoric.
  • How will it help you

    How will it help you ? You will need a new phone that is capable of HSDPA, which yours probably isn't !
  • Spin, Spin, Spin

    ..just take a look at the crappy selection of NextG phones & pricing !

    What happened to the millions spent on iMode...what a joke !

    Telstra is now incl. ALL 3G users as Next G in their releases....need i go on ?

    My opinion,..wait for 3's new plans in March and also check out Voda when they go nationwide.

  • Fear and Terror.

    I could not help but laugh and laugh when I read Telstra opponents comments and their disparaging remarks. All I can say is "Telstra go you good thing".
  • Go You What ?

    Disparaging remarks ?? They are all based on fact !

    Go and Google how many millions Telstra poured into and lost to Hong Kong Wireless, when they could have been upgrading their customers to high speed broadband...go and tell all those that aren't enjoying up to 24mbit broadband, because Telstra is too stubborn to turn the switch @ your local exchange,...answer all those mum and dad customers that bought into iMode - "the next generation of mobile" losing product after another..for what ?!?

    ..all I can say is go you good thing to another provider that cares about providing high end services at good rates !
  • Telstra boosts Next G reach

    Could not be further from the "truth"
  • Telsta next g is very poor compared to CDMA

    Telstra boosts next G range.
    In rural areas the range of next g handsets is less than 80% of CDMA
    My phone is searching for signal only 10 ks from the tower
    10 ks is only 5% of 200 ks How wrong is it, to suggest people can get 200 ks under a condition that no one can achieve realistically.
    There are 50 cells within 200 ks and I cannot get one at the moment on my next g phone. CDMA is fine however
  • LOL... man you need to grow up!!

    Next G is the bling bling of the future. . if u go to optus or any other provider you are a joke.. they are all overseas company's.. wait untill the accc stop working and telstra kicks arse!!
  • Yes, but

    Sure technology has improved, no argument there. However there are inescapable laws of physics like the curvature of the earth, transmission losses in cables and connectors, and signal losses based purely on distance.
    Some of these can be minimised (Telstra say their selected towers are on tops of high hills = better line-of-sight) low-loss coax & connectors, etc. But the simple fact remains - mobile phones have limited transmit power (Much less than 1 watt - typically around 1/4 of a watt) and have omnidirectional aerials (meaning signal is spread around 360 degrees). Quite clearly Telstra cannot have achieved these claims using a standard mobile phone working into a standard cell site.
  • Get real

    Some years ago? Well you should know that technology moves faster than time. Just because it could not be don
  • 3g range

    The article was about NextG not 3G, the 2/3G range is very limited due to the packet nature of the data. The data has a time slot to fit into and as you get further from the base station the longer the signal has to travel until it no longer has a slot to fit into.
  • ACCC is to blam

    The ACCC has band telstra from so called flicking the switch at your local exchange. Only non-telstra companies are given permission to install the equipment at exchanges to theoreticly encourage compertition when its is really just slowing everything down! Now im not saying telstra is without flaws but i dont understand how so many people are anti-telstra, Australians have a big case of tall poppy syndrome and it annoys the heck out of me! All those people who say that the NextG sucks should go over to optus/vodaphone and see what kind of reception you get then! optus/vodaphone (and obviously "3") only care about their city customers, i know i live in the country and there service, both reception and customer, is poor. Australia is finally ahead of all other country with something and you have to go and bag the $#!t out of it!