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Vodafone will greatly expand its regional coverage with over a thousand new network sites. But it’s still 3G, as its rivals take 4G to the bush.

Vodafone has announced a major expansion to its regional coverage from July, when it will “flick the switch on 1,200 new network sites across Australia.” It is a welcome announcement after Vodafone’s recent spate of bad news.

“Our customers have been very clear what they want from us,” said Vodafone’s CEO Bill Morrow “They want a reliable network experience where they live, work and holiday.

“This announcement today means Vodafone customers living in or visiting regional areas will notice much improved mobile coverage from July, as will those who are travelling for work or heading off on holidays. This will include a much better network experience on major roads and highways.”

The announcement is the latest in a program of 3G network infrastructure upgrades Vodafone has invested in over the past two years. “Our metropolitan network is already 25% bigger than it was in 2011.

“Our engineers continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the Vodafone 3G network delivers reliable, fast network coverage to our customers whenever they need it,” said Morrow.

“I’m pleased to be able to share the news with our customers today that we are tripling our network sites in regional Australia, offering significantly improved coverage right across the country. We are also very much looking forward to the launch of our super-fast 4G network in June.”

Vodafone only recently announced its 4G network for capital cities and major regional centred, while Telstra has announced it has passed 1500 4G base station nationally. Morrow said Vodafone will detail the areas in which the network coverage will increase in July. Why not now?

Vodafone’s announcement is encouraging, and good news for its customers and stakeholders. The better its network, the more viable its market position. But it is badly lagging in 4G, and that is where the future is.

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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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