Just like telecommunications have been in Australia for a long time – since 1880 – So has the telecommunications company Telstra, which traces its origins back to 1901 with the founding of the Postmaster General’s Department. As Australia and the government evolved into what they are now, so did Telstra. Thus, you can say that Telstra had been part of the Australian government until its partial privatisation which started in 1997.
The company has continued to evolve with the needs and demands of the present time, the latest of which is the company’s aim to be more sales and service oriented under the helm of its CEO David Thodey.
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Telstra is considered one of the best and largest telecommunications company with 11,000 telephone exchanges all over the country. This number of exchanges covers 99% of Australia. This also means that Telstra handles billions of calls – both local and international – and messages every year.
Aside from telephony, Telstra also provides broadband services to a total of 2.4 million retail fixed broadband customers and 2.5 million of mobile broadband customers with a network speed of 100Mbps. This is after the company invested in developing its HFC broadband network which resulted in the Next G network.
The launch of the Next G network also paved the way to the introduction of over 150 devices that are Next G-compatible, which include PDAs, handsets, modems, and data cards.
Telstra boasts of being the largest mobile service provider in Australia, with a network that covers a landmass of more than 2.1 million square kilometres. Their network not only covers all parts of capital cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, but also provides excellent coverage in coastal areas, rural locations, as well as regional centres across the country.
Telstra Coverage across Various Networks
Telstra has several different types of networks that make use of different types of mobile technologies. The total Telstra coverage in Australia is a combination of the different areas covered under their multiple networks. Here is a look at the various networks that are responsible for the bulk of Telstra mobile services in the country.
- GSM/GPRS Network: Telstra currently operates a GSM network that covers almost 96% of the Australian population. There are thousands of GSM base stations present over 600,000 square kilometres which help to provide excellent GSM mobile services to customers. A lot of mobile users frequently encounter signal problems deep inside buildings, in basements, as well as various other locations. However, since Telstra has an extensive range of base stations that have been stationed inside buildings and other structures; you will receive strong mobile signals in difficult locations also, where receiving a signal was previously almost impossible. While the GSM network only supports voice services and texting, mobile users do have the option of using the GPRS network for data related services. The coverage provided by Telstra’s GPRS network is the same as their GSM network. One of the main advantages of this network is that it has international roaming capabilities in more than 170 countries across the globe. Therefore, if you travel overseas regularly, you can benefit from this extensive Telstra coverage globally
- Next G Network: Before the Next G network was launched by Telstra, it operated a 3G network on the 2100 MHz frequency band in several cities across the country. This particular network was being shared with Vodafone. However, as of August 2012, the sharing agreement with Vodafone has ended and all the services that were being offered on the 2100 MHz 3G network are now being provided through Telstra’s own Next G network. Instead of using the 2100 MHz band, the Next G network runs on the 850 MHz frequency band. According to Telstra, since this a lower frequency to operate on, it is possible to provide much better coverage and higher quality of mobile services through this frequency. The lower frequency signals can penetrate difficult spaces, which in turn help to provide much better in-building coverage than ever before. Therefore, if you are using a mobile phone that is set to access the frequencies of Telstra’s Next G network, you will be able to make and receive calls in locations where you could not previously. In addition to mobile phone services, Telstra also offers excellent quality mobile broadband services on their Next G network. As per Telstra’s claims, their mobile broadband through the next G network is the fastest mobile internet network in Australia
- 4G (LTE) Network: The latest 4th generation mobile technology has been adopted by Telstra in their 4G network, which covers more than 40% of the entire Australian population. Telstra currently has the distinction of operating the largest 4G network in Australia, with a presence in more than 100 locations that not only includes all the capital cities, but also includes various other metropolitan areas and regional centres. Future plans for their 4G network include setting up of more than 1000 sites with 4G capabilities across the country in the coming year. In order to make use of Telstra’s 4G network, you will require a 4G compatible device. Since all 4G devices will run seamlessly on Telstra’s entire coverage in the country, you will be able to use that device even in those locations where 4G is currently unavailable. When you go out of a 4G covered area, your device will automatically switch to the Next G network available in the area, thus giving you uninterrupted access to Telstra coverage throughout Australia.
The Telstra Network
The Next G network has launched 4G/LTE which is faster than the 3G network. While the 3G network runs on a 2100MHZ frequency, the Next G runs on the lower 850 MHZ frequency.
What is the significance of this lower frequency? The lower the frequency, the more powerful it is for in-building coverage. This means that you can still get better signals and faster speed even inside buildings and enclosed places. As opposed to the 3G download speed of 1.5Mbps to 20Mbps, the Next G/4G network can give you broadband speed twice as fast as the 3G network – up to 40Mbps.
Aside from the 4G and 3G network, Telstra also has a GSM/GPRS network which covers 96% of the country’s population. This network is ideal not only if you have a GPRS-capable device, but also if you constantly travel overseas. You can take advantage of the GSM network which gives you access to international roaming available in 170 countries.
What Is Telstra’s Next G Network?
The new mobile network that is being set up by Telstra in Australia is known as their Next G network, short for next generation services in mobile telephony. This mobile service provider claims that their Next G network is unlike any of the other 3G networks that have been set up in the country so far. Not only does the carrier claim that the Next G network is more than double the coverage size of any other 3G service in the country, but they also claim to be able to service as much as 99% of the Australian population with the Next G network.
The reason why the coverage with the Next G network is so high is because Telstra makes use of a different frequency band for their mobile services than what is being used by other carriers. Telstra uses the 850 MHz frequency for their Next G services, whereas the frequency being used by other carriers is the 2100 MHz one. The lower frequency band not only makes for much wider coverage, but it also provides superior coverage in areas where mobile signals are typically quite weak, such as inside buildings, in basements, as well as inside lifts.
In addition to better coverage, Telstra also claims that their Next G network is now the fastest mobile broadband network in the country. Not only does their 3G service on Next G provide faster speeds than other 3G services, but they have also made it possible for consumers in certain areas to receive 4G services, which are much faster than even their own 3G signals. The 4G signals are not available throughout the country, but are currently available only in some regional locations, certain airports, and in some Capital city CBDs. Wherever the 4G signal is available, mobile phone users on the Next G network of Telstra can expect to receive high internet speeds that range between 2 Mbps and 40 Mbps.
Advantages of Choosing Telstra Next G Mobile Phone Plan
Here is a look at some of the main reasons why opting for a Next G mobile phone plan may be advantageous for you:
- Enhanced coverage and faster speeds: As mentioned previously, the coverage and sped that you can expect from the Next G mobile phone plan is more superior to what is available from other carriers. Not only can you benefit from increased coverage in rural areas, but you will not have to worry about dropped signals if you enter a lift, or if you are using your mobile phone inside a concrete building.
- Free entertainment content: Most of the mobile phone plans on the Next G network come with free entertainment options, thanks to the BigPond service from Telstra. Whether it is news, music, or sports, you can keep yourself entertained with free to browse content that is clearly marked as such.
- Free social networking options: If you are using a mobile phone that is compatible with Telstra’s Next G services, you may be able to benefit from free browsing on social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Choice of multiple handsets: Telstra gives its customers a choice of different types of mobile phone handsets that are available with their Next G mobile phone plans. Since the coverage that you receive from your carrier depends on the device that you use, you can rest assured that the handsets available from Telstra will help you to maximise the speeds being offered by their Next G network.
If you want the freedom to reload anytime you want and control the amount of your phone bills, Telstra has five prepaid plans with competitive prices. These plans are mixed and matched to suit your needs whether they are calls, messaging, or data.
- Telstra prepaid Cap Encore – These are capped prepaid plans between $30 and $100 with data included ranging from 400MB to 4GB. These plans are good for 30 days and have free talk and text to any eligible Australian number every night from 6PM to 6AM.
- The plan for Text – Although this plan does not include free calls and messaging, it gives generous amounts of up to a maximum of 1,000 free texts to standard Australian numbers. This is the ideal plan if you are someone who loves to text non-stop.
- Talk and Text – This is the best plan if you are someone who loves sending tons of messages and surfing the net. The plans range between $20 and $80, which included either free text messages or unlimited messaging. If your plan only gets the bonus texts, you only get charged a 1¢ per message once you used up all your bonus texts. Data included in this plan starts at 500MB up to a maximum of 4GB.
- Long Life – Let’s say that you only use your phone to make occasional calls. If you are this kind of user, contracts and high phone bills will discourage you from getting a plan – what’s the use of these plans if you don’t really use your phone unless it’s something very urgent or important? This plan answers your dilemma by giving you plans you can use up to 12 months which has 200 minutes of call time at only $100. If this figure is still high for you there is much lower plans up to $20 which you can use up to 60 days.
- Telstra Prepaid Simplicity Plan – If you are someone who wants to track down every usage they make, then this is for you. This plan charges you by the minute at 25¢ per minute with no connection fees. Furthermore, text messages are at 12¢ per message and 10¢ pr MB charge.