Australia’s mobile networks are fast, but it’ll cost you

Dominant mobile network providers Telstra, Optus and Vodafone had spent the past two years poaching customers by lowering prices and increasing …

“Telstra and Optus have substantially improved infrastructure to lure these new mobile customers, but Vodafone hasn’t managed to keep up,” said Mr Martin. “Telstra spent $2 billion a year to improve infrastructure, Optus has spent $1.5 billion, while Vodafone has only spent $400 million.”

Mr Martin said Vodafone had not been able to keep up with Telstra and Optus’ rate of investment in infrastructure because those dominant telcos were more attractive to investors.

He thought the rejected merger would have allowed Vodafone to compete in the market at the same level as Telstra and Optus, and doubted TPG would establish its own network. “It’s a long shot,” he said.

However, while Australia’s is among the fastest mobile networks, data is among the most expensive.

Australia is the 50th most expensive, according to research from Cable, a Britain-based company that compares mobile data prices across the globe.

ACCC blocks merger between TPG and Vodafone

The proposed $15 billion merger of Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom has been blocked by the competition regulator.ninevms

Cable examined 56 Australian data plans and calculated the average cost of data in Australia at $US2.47 ($3.54) per gigabyte, and can reach $US7.59. This compared to the average price of US26¢/GB in India, which ranked cheapest on the list but 120th on a separate speed ranking.


“The three major players in Australia are not willing to drop their prices like you see in European countries,” said Mr Budde, a telecommunications consultant.

Mr Budde thought the principle underpinning the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s decision was sound: that Vodafone and TPG would provide more competition in the market as separate entities.

However, he wondered whether each company, as an individual player, could compete effectively with Optus and Telstra.

“My argument has all along been that as long as TPG would stay as a brand in the market and operate as a price competitor, there would be room for the ACCC to allow for the merger,” he said.

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Telstra takes payphone fight to Federal Court

Telstra is escalating its dispute with the City of Melbourne over JCDecaux’s upgrade of its payphone network to the Federal Court to head off disputes …

“This will avoid the time and cost of court action in other states, and should mean a quicker, consistent outcome.”

The upgrade of 1860 payphones across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide has drawn concerns from several city councils. The concerns in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane are different to those of Sydney and Melbourne. The former have all cited the need for local council approval on third-party advertising.

Payphone network upgrade

In March, the City of Melbourne rejected 81 applications for JCDecaux to upgrade Telstra payphones, including new 75-inch (190-centimetre) digital advertising screens.

Ms Mulhern said Telstra consulted urban designers, academics, local councils, road safety authorities and police in planning the upgrade of its payphone network.

“We really believe our new payphones will play a critical role in our cities as they become smarter and more reliant on telecommunications infrastructure,” she wrote.

“Over time, our new payphones will provide a number of additional services, designed to support Australia’s public communication needs for the next 20-30 years.

“They could contain a range of features including digital screens, Wi-Fi, 5G enabled technology, mobile device charging, as well as providing a space for communicating everything from emergency alerts to a range of content services such as public transport information to city maps, weather, tourist advice, information on nearby cultural attractions and the ability to promote the work of charitable organisations.”

A spokesman for the City of Sydney said the council disputes Telstra can install the integrated ad displays under the Telecommunications Act.

“Our view is that the new or upgraded payphones are not intended to be designed solely for use as a content and carriage service. We understand they will feature large commercial advertising panels that will increase clutter on our footpaths at a time when we are working hard to reduce it,” he said.

“We have serious concerns these will reduce our control of footpaths and public spaces and our ability to ensure that the design and location of these enlarged payphones doesn’t negatively impact pedestrians or businesses.”

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Cel-Fi GO for regional connectivity

Cel-Fi GO Stationary Repeater has been tested, authorised and approved by Telstra for use on the Telstra Mobile Network. It is a one box indoor …

This is advertiser content for Powertec.

It is a recognised fact that regional areas need connectivity to compete in a networked world and to improve business opportunities. Some of the problems around remote areas are caused by limited (or no) mobile coverage, so improving coverage with either fixed line data, cellular or satellite is one way to ensure rural business’ can grow and take advantage of opportunities.

Communications experts can be the key to driving rural growth by expanding options available. If you are thousands of kilometre’s from the nearest town, with no chance of NBN and the closest mobile signal just limps through your door – the best way forward is to speak to one of Powertec’s experts to see what they can do for you. Read on to see what local Goondiwindi expert installed in this successful case study.

Business Profile/Needs

A Cattle Yard business 40kms West of Goondiwindi wanted to automate their operation to save double handling, data re-entry and human error as well as providing information to decision makers for real time decision making.

They wanted to capture data straight from the cattle in the crush and load the information direct onto the main server located 40km away.

With no mains power in the cattle yards a solar powered installation to improve cellular and data coverage was the only solution.

Products Used

A Solar Installation was designed including a battery in a metal enclosure including the following products:

Cel-Fi GO

Cel-Fi GO Stationary Repeater has been tested, authorised and approved by Telstra for use on the Telstra Mobile Network. It is a one box indoor coverage solution for Telstra’s Next G(r) and 4GX networks operating on 3G 850Mhz or 4G 700/1800 bands (one band at a time).

It is designed to dramatically boost voice quality and increase data speeds V2 Modem.

Robustel R2000 V2

Supporting the new 4GX/700Mhz band (B28), the Robustel GoRugged R2000 V2 with Wi-Fi is a rugged 2G/3G/4G router offering state-of-the-art mobile connectivity for machine to machine (M2M) applications. Also for those that want an industrial 3G/4G modem for an internet connection, that can handle higher temperatures and robust applications.

The Solution

The Solar Installation system provided the client with a 2.4Ghz Wifi access using the Robustel R2000 V2 via Telstra 4GX and a Yagi antenna. It can reach 30Mbps+ download and 10Mbps+ upload speeds.

A Cel-Fi GO was positioned inside the box locked to 3G to provide better mobile coverage for everyone on the Telstra network in the cattle yards.

A Blackhawk M2M Puck antenna was used as the output antenna for voice calls (3G) and Wifi (2.4Ghz) which simplifies the system. Separation is achieved by mounting the antenna on the bottom of the metal enclosure.

Inside the box there is a USB to mico USB lead, as well as a micro to USB to lightning adaptor, able to charge all popular phones. It also has a 150W inverter that can be plugged into a cigarette socket under the box.

This is used for charging a laptop. The other cigarette sockets are used to power the RFID scanners and other devices used at the cattle yards. Multiple sockets are also mounted on the outside under the enclosure including three cigarette sockets as well as a USB socket.


“Trent from Goondiwindi communications installed Wi-Fi and cable router for internet connectivity at the cattle yards enabling us to use new software. They also supplied us with a solar power set up with a charging point for laptops and other devices needed. The work was done quickly and they came up with solutions for all the issues. The setup is efficient and has allowed us to move forward with new technology which in turn improves productivity.” RMI PT Limited

Contact Powertec today about your communications options

This Solar Wi-Fi Installation was undertaken by Trent Murray, communications expert for Goondiwindi Communications who specialise in business communications in the larger Goondiwindi area.

Powertec have access to a number of installers across Australia who are specialists in communications solutions. For a referral to a local expert on mobile and Wi-Fi solutions in your area, please contact Powertec on 07 5577 0500 or

This is advertiser content for Powertec.

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City Of Sydney Considers Cancelling $300m OOH Ad Tender

The City of Sydney is considering canceling its $300m out of home ad tender due to a lack of competitive bids and the upgrade Telstra’s payphone …

The City of Sydney is considering canceling its $300m out of home ad tender due to a lack of competitive bids and the upgrade Telstra’s payphone network.

The City is said to be considering running the street furniture network itself following clashes with incumbent JCDecaux.

The contract is believed to be worth up to $300m, but includes tens of millions of dollars of capital expenditure to bring the network up to date through digital billboards and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Next Monday, Sydney councilors will discuss recommendations to provide City of Sydney chief executive Monica Barone the ability to directrly negotiate contracts for street furniture such as bus shelters, advertising and Wi-Fi services, instead of running a new tender.

A council spokesman said: “The City of Sydney remains committed to securing a provider for its street furniture, out-of-home advertising and Wi-Fi services.

“A report to be considered by council recommends declining a proposal for street furniture, out-of-home advertising and Wi-Fi services following the completion of an extensive tender process. The report also recommends the City of Sydney’s CEO be given authority to explore alternative options to deliver these services.”

The City of Sydney recently clashed with incumbent JCDecaux and its partner Telstra over the duo’s deal to upgrade the telco’s payment network.

Last month, the City of Sydney joined Melbourne in a fight against Telstra to stop the telco brand from installing new payphones with advertising display panels around the city.

A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said: “We dispute that Telstra is entitled to install these payphones using these powers.

“We are of the view that equipment being installed is not designed solely for use as a content and carriage service as required.

“We are also of the view that the equipment does not comply with the criteria for low-impact facilities under the Telco Act.”

The City formally disputed Telstra’s plans when they sent a formal notice to the company in late February and is now awaiting instruction from Sydney Council, led by Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

JCDecaux has held the City of Sydney contract since 1997.

Losing the contractor would be a massive hit to the business, which paid $1.2 billion for APN Outdoor in Australia less than a year ago.

A decision about the tender will be made on May 13.

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Optus best for 4G availability in Australia, Telstra leads on speeds

Optus has the best 4G availability, while Telstra offers the fastest mobile data speeds in Australia, according to the latest tests by OpenSignal.

Optus has the best 4G availability, while Telstra offers the fastest mobile data speeds in Australia, according to the latest tests by OpenSignal. Vodafone and Optus tied on the best latency results, and Vodafone and Telstra were equal on video experience.

The tests conducted in Q1 show 4G availability improving in Australia, led by Optus with a score of 91.9 percent and Vodafone moving above 90 percent. OpenSignal said all three operators should show over 90 percent by its next report. Telstra also set a new speed milestone on the market, topping 40 Mbps, and all three achieved scores over 30 Mbps.

The OpenSignal results are based on nearly 490 million measurements crowdsourced from over 110,000 devices. The researcher alsop published results from the five largest cities.

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