Telstra is touting its mobile broadband plans as a 'big hit,' with customer growth surging by 50 percent month-on-month since launch of the service in November last year.
Telstra officials confirmed today 7,000 customers had signed up to its 3G offerings, delivered via the carrier's CDMA (code-division multiple-access) 1xEV-DO network.
Group managing director, technology innovation and products, Ted Pretty, said the response had exceeded the carrier's expectations.
"Telstra is delighted with the market's response to its mobile broadband offer as it clearly indicates there is a strong demand for premium wireless data services," Pretty said in a statement issued ahead of a speech to the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce today. "Importantly, Telstra mobile broadband data traffic has also continued to climb, growing 51 percent month-on-month since we launched the service".
The corporate-focused offerings are getting a particularly strong response from companies whose sales teams needed to access information while on the road, he said.
The technology, Pretty added, is also popular with professionals wanting to access corporate networks and field workers accessing online job details for repair and maintenance work.
The mobile broadband service offers data rates of up to 2.4 megabit per second and typical speeds between 300-600 kilobits per second when in a CDMA 1xEV-DO coverage area, Pretty said.
Service coverage is currently available through more than 400 CDMA base stations around Australia. Pretty said by June this year, another 300 CDMA base stations are expected to provide the technology, giving 5.3 million people living in selected metropolitan areas and regional centres access to mobile broadband coverage.
Pretty said the success of the service was "a good indicator" that the carrier's forthcoming 3GSM voice and content mobile phone offer would be well received by the market. Telstra is preparing to launch 3G services later this year, with rivals Optus and Vodafone also gearing up to release offerings. Hutchison -- which has signed a network partnership agreement with Telstra -- is the only operator with an existing 3G service.
The company expects to have more than 40 3GSM base stations operating in Canberra by July. These will complement the 2069 Hutchison base stations servicing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.