Telstra plans on extending coverage of its high speed 4F LTE network to 85 percent of the population by the end of the year.
The expansion of the Telstra network comes hot on the heels of the announcement of 4G services by troubled carrier Vodafone, which started advertising its network last week. As part of its advertising, Vodafone labelled its services as the fastest 4G network in Australia.
This claim has lead Telstra to send a strongly-worded legal letter to the carrier, with the threat of challenging Vodafone’s claims in court.
A Vodafone representative told Fairfax it would stand by its claims in court, if it came to that.
In its advertising material, Vodafone is non-specific about its 4G speeds, simply claiming it is up to three times faster than home broadband. Telstra, on the other hand, makes specific claims for the performance of its 4G network. According to the Telstra website, 4G customes can expect download speeds between 2Mbps and 40Mbps, subject to location, network congestion and so on.
At present, Telstra’s network extends to 66 percent of the population, while Vodafone’s is more narrowly focused.
As part of the expansion plan, Telstra said will extend the network to 200 rural and regional towns, including important coastal holiday centres.
The extension of high speed wireless entails the upgrade of around 1500 base stations, the company said.
“Last August, we committed to extending our 4G coverage to 66 per cent of Australians by June 30. Having met that target, we are now committing to have superfast services in place for 85 per cent of the population by the end of the year by upgrading another 1500 base stations before Christmas,” said Telstra chief operations officer, Brendan Riley, in a statement.
“We already offer 4G services in approximately 100 regional locations and this new expansion will take 4G services to more than 200 new towns and increase our capital city footprint across many more suburbs,” he added.