Ericsson was the supplier of Telstra's GSM network and is the supplier of the 3G network it shares with Hutchison. The new network will use the same (850 MHz) frequency and booster technology approach used by Telstra's existing CDMA network, thereby providing the same broad coverage in rural areas, without the need for extra base stations.
When questioned only two weeks ago in a Senate Estimates Committee hearing on how 3G coverage compared with 2G CDMA, a senior Telstra executive failed to provide an answer, although clearly Telstra knew exactly what the relationship is between these. CEO, Sol Trujillo, said: "Technology improvements mean the national 3G service will match the existing CDMA coverage and continue to reach 98 percent of people.
Telstra says that the network will give country customers full access to all the latest 3G services including video calling and fast mobile Internet services, and that city-based customers travel in regional areas will get significantly improved mobile phone coverage compared to their GSM service today.
However, Telstra has is eyes on the more distant future already. Trujillo said: "This plan lays the foundation for Telstra to deliver 4G services more quickly. A superspeed 4G technology will put Australian mobile users on a superior technology path with access to new services such as video-on-demand...We will be talking shortly to our customers and stakeholders about our plans."
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Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.