Monday, 04 April 2016 13:36

Vodafone expands 4G services to now reach 23 million Aussies Featured

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Vodafone says it has reached a significant network milestone with its footprint now reaching almost 23 million Australians.

The telco says that under its national spectrum refarm project it has converted its entire holding of 850 MHz spectrum to increase its 4G network by more than 20%, with its 4G footprint now extending to more than 95% of the Australian population.

Low-band spectrum, known as ‘L850’, provides higher quality indoor mobile coverage as the lower frequency signal penetrates buildings more effectively than higher frequency signals, and Vodafone says this complements the 4G coverage of its 1800 MHz spectrum, and capable devices will also now aggregate the 850MHz and 1800 MHz bands for an optimal mobile experience on the Vodafone network.

Vodafone Chief Technology Officer Benoit Hanssen said the company had invested heavily to deliver a world-class 4G network, and was proud to back this investment with Australia’s only Network Happiness Guarantee.

“We have spent billions of dollars over recent years to build a high performing 4G network throughout Australia for our customers. Now available in more places, our 4G network is faster and more resilient than ever before.

"We are confident our network delivers a fantastic 4G experience for customers, and we’re willing to guarantee it by offering Australia’s only Network Happiness Guarantee. This means that if you sign up to a plan and you’re not happy in the first 30 days, you can cancel your contract and only pay for what you’ve used."

In addition to expanding its 4G coverage, Vodafone says it has also doubled the capacity of its 4G low band network in metro areas, following an 84% increase in data usage on the Vodafone network in 2015 compared to the previous year.

Hanssen said Vodafone will continue to take advantage of its spectrum assets to ensure its 4G network remains world-class.

“Our customers' mobile data usage continues to explode, largely driven by video traffic. To ensure we stay ahead of customer demand, we have doubled our low-band 4G capacity in metropolitan areas, and we will continue to repurpose our spectrum assets when needed."

Vodafone says in recent months it has allocated 2100 MHz spectrum to 4G in Cairns and the Sunshine Coast to help deliver improved performance for customers.

And, the telco has begun rolling out Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) capability to customers with compatible devices in most metropolitan areas, including the latest iPhones operating the latest version of iOS (iOS 9.3).

“We have reached an exciting stage in our rollout of VoLTE, and are pleased to deliver this enhancement to our customers,” Hanssen said.

“There’s still a lot of mileage left in 4G, and our customers will reap the benefits as we continue to roll out features such as VoLTE and Carrier Aggregation, and introduce Voice Over Wi-Fi in the future.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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