Australia’s Telstra has made several network-related press announcements this week, the first of which is confirmation that it has now switched on the 400th base transceiver station (BTS) as part of its involvement in the government’s ‘Mobile Black Spot Programme’. The operator connected the site in Upper Chittering, Western Australia, noting that the development comes just a month or so after its announcement confirming the launch of its 350th BTS under the scheme. Telstra claims that more than 60 million calls have been made over new base stations built as part of the programme, with more than 2,500TB of data said to have been downloaded in the areas where new and improved mobile coverage has been offered. In total, Telstra is building more than 650 new mobile BTS across the three rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Programme, a figure it added was ‘more than double the commitment of all other carriers combined’ and represented a total investment of AUD260 million (USD196 million).
Meanwhile, in related news Telstra has also announced the launch of its ‘Telstra Go Repeater’, which it describes as ‘an intelligent antenna solution designed to improve mobile coverage or provide coverage in most places where it’s unavailable’. With the operator claiming the device can help improve voice quality and data speeds for residential and business customers, it is offered in two variants, one being a stationary version designed for customers seeking a coverage solution in residential and commercial premises, and the other being a portable version designed for customers that want to boost coverage in their car, truck or boat. Operating on Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks, the device works by receiving mobile signals through an external antenna and then enhancing and re-transmitting this signal to a single indoor or in vehicle antenna to extend coverage where the customer requires service.
Finally, Telstra has outlined plans to introduce its first smartphone plan offering unlimited data; the new tariff will be available from 3 May, will cost AUD69 per month on a twelve-month contract, and includes 40GB of data at uncapped speeds, with any data used beyond that limit capped at speeds of 1.5Mbps for the remainder of the billing period. The ‘Telstra Endless Data BYO’ plan also includes unlimited talk, text and MMS to standard Australian numbers.