Ahead of the release of its full year results tomorrow, Telstra has announced that it has more than a million subscribers to its 3.5G NEXT G network, part of an overall 3G user base of more than two million. The company said it has seen a 530% increase in 3G subscriptions in the year to 30 June 2007 with NEXT G subscribers now outnumbering those on its CDMA platform. Data usage on NEXT G has increased six-fold compared to the old CDMA-based EV-DO data network.
NEXT G utilises the 850MHz band and was completed by Ericsson in October 2006, three months ahead of schedule. The AUD1 billion (USD746 million) network — which Telstra claims to be the largest of its type in the world — covers over a quarter of Australia’s landmass and more than 98% of the population. The service carries twelve Foxtel television channels and sport and movie downloads at speeds of between 550kbps and 1.5Mbps, with peak network speeds of up to 3.6Mbps, a figure which is expected to rise to 14.4Mbps. Telstra plans to migrate its CDMA mobile customers to the NEXT G network by January 2008, after which time it will begin to decommission its CDMA networks. Telstra says it will not share the NEXT G network with any of its rivals.