Australia’s Telstra has switched on its 3,000th LTE-enabled base station and, having launched the site in Dalby, Queensland, has claimed that its 4G network is now available ‘across an area four times greater than the 4G coverage of any other telco’ in the country. Andrew Volard, Telstra’s director of devices, has said that the operator is now just 500 base station upgrades shy of providing 4G coverage to 85% of the population, noting: ‘We’re well progressed on our program to rollout 3,500 4G base stations by Christmas and our customers are telling us it’s giving them more freedom to manage their life and work on the go.’
Alongside the network deployment milestone announcement, Telstra also unveiled its ‘Wi-Fi 4G Advanced’ mobile hotspot, a battery-powered device that can reportedly operate continuously for up to ten hours and share a 4G connection with up to ten devices. Of more note, arguably, is the fact that the hotspot is LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) compatible, with Mr Volard stating that the device will operate in LTE-A mode in some locations where Telstra has ‘a lower 4G band in place for coverage or capacity’. Experience in these initial LTE-A areas on Telstra’s network will, the executive said, help the operator refine the technology ahead of its widespread deployment in the coming years.