The Melbourne small cell deployments are the first part of a national three-year rollout with a focus on major cities, with 1000 small cells also to be deployed in the CBD of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Small cells are a miniature version of a standard mobile base station and the first 4G small cell sites in Melbourne’s CBD criss-cross east to west between Spring Street and Spencer Street, and north to south between La Trobe Street and Flinders Street.
Telstra says each 4G small cell deployment utilises existing CBD mobile infrastructure at locations such as information hubs and street light and electricity poles, at main intersections.
According to Telstra’s executive director for Network and Infrastructure Engineering, Channa Seneviratne, the new 4G small cell sites will ensure Telstra customers continue to enjoy the benefits of an “excellent experience on our network at a time when data consumption continues to grow more than 40% every year”.
“We have been using small cells to extend coverage mostly in rural and remote areas for several years, now we are deploying them in some of the busiest locations in Australia as a cost effective way to handle the ever growing demand for data,” Seneviratne said.
“We have now put small cells at some of Melbourne’s busiest locations – from Southern Cross station, to Degraves Street, to Young and Jackson’s Hotel on Flinders Street to the front of the Tennis Centre.
“Working in concert with our existing 3G and 4G base stations across the city, these small cells will deliver fast Internet browsing, video streaming, social media or a mobile office to our customers.
“By mid-year, we will take this one step further with the activation of additional LTE Advanced features like Co-ordinated Multi-Point in the CBD to create a leading edge Heterogeneous Network. This will further boost the efficiency and performance of the network in the CBD.
“Now that we’ve successfully installed more than 50 4G small cells footprint in Melbourne’s CBD, we will be looking to expand our small cells footprint in other CBD and urban areas, as well as continuing to use them as an alternative for enhancing coverage in regional areas.”