A speech made by Telstra’s deputy chief financial officer Mark Hall has revealed that Australia’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers has made a strong start in the 4G arena, having signed up some 2.1 million customers to date. Having inaugurated commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services back in September 2011, the executive noted that of the 2.1 million connecting to its 4G network, 1.4 million of those were doing so via handset, while tablets and dongles accounted for 150,000 and 370,000 accesses, respectively; the remaining 225,000 customers were said to be connecting via Wi-Fi hotspots.
Further, with a view to maintaining its dominance in the sector, Mr Hall noted that Telstra is aiming to invest around AUD1.2 billion (USD1.24 billion) in its wireless network in the current fiscal year. Such expenditure, he said, would see 4G coverage reach 66% of the Australian population by June 2013. Funds have, meanwhile, also been earmarked for the rollout of 4G services over the 900MHz band, with Hall noting that this lower frequency – the operator currently uses the 1800MHz band for LTE – will improve signal range and depth, making it better suited for rollout in more rural and remote locations.