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Vodafone Australia has switched on its 4G network in parts of Tasmania. The coverage is limited, but there are plans for a major expansion in the coming months.

Initial coverage is in the Hobart suburbs of West Moonah, Warrane and Cambridge, and in New Norfolk and at Hobart Airport, following successful live trials in these areas in recent weeks.

Vodafone Australia chief technology officer, Benoit Hanssen, highlighted the company’s close relationship to Tasmania. “We have a long history in this state where our customer-care centre has been based for more 15 years. Late last year we also opened a second call centre in the Hobart CBD.

“This is a launch I am especially proud of as our excellent Tassie team call me regularly to ask when we’re going to switch it on.”

In the coming months, Hanssen said Vodafone will commence phase two of its rollout, adding new 4G sites in the Hobart CBD, Bridgewater, Claremont, Howrah, Huonville, Kingston, Lauderdale, Richmond, Sandfly, Sorell, and Mt Faulkner.

“A few weeks ago we announced our first million 4G customers on our network, a major milestone less than a year after we first switched on our first 4G site. Customers are telling us they are enjoying using their devices on our newest network.”

Hanssen said the challenge for all mobile telecommunications engineers was future-proofing networks to keep up with the ever-growing demand for data. “One of the little-discussed benefits of switching on 4G networks is that as customers with 4G devices automatically move over onto the 4G network, it means there is greater capacity on our 3G and 3G+ networks. So that means all of our customers notice the difference and are able to access faster data speeds.”

Vodafone also offers a Network Guarantee, which allows customers to try out the network for 30 days. “The guarantee means if the customer isn’t satisfied with Vodafone’s 3G and 4G coverage in the first 30 days, they are free to exit the contract without penalty and only pay for what they used,” said Hanssen.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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