February 21, 2013
Telstra have responded to farmers’ calls for improved network access in rural areas by unveiling a new network strategy today. As part of the new strategy Telstra is broadening the scope of its 4G network, adding a second wireless frequency to better cater for increasing mobile use in regional areas. The second wireless frequency will be lower than the existing one, which is expected to improve signal range and depth for mobile phone users in remote areas. “Our signal was getting worse because of demands placed on the network,” VFF president Peter Tuohey said. “We’re glad to see Telstra have listened to farmers’ calls for better coverage in rural areas.” Telstra’s new strategy comes after the VFF reported in January that a growth in the use of smartphones and tablets was placing unmanageable data demands on Telstra and other providers’ regional networks, which was causing a decline in levels of mobile phone service. Telstra Chief Operations Officer Brendon Riley said Telstra’s new strategy looked at new ways to plan for the ongoing surge in mobile data traffic on its networks. “More than half of all Australians now own a smartphone – up from 32% in 2010 – and we’re increasingly using them not just for work but for entertainment too,” Mr Riley said. Strengthening the wireless frequency in rural areas is part of a $1.2 billion investment by Telstra for 2012-13, which is aimed at improving the capacity of its wireless networks across Australia.