Wednesday , August 23 2017

Vodafone update: 4G now reaches 23 million Australians, VoLTE is coming and mobile blackspot schedule announced

Vodafone Logo

Vodafone have been busy it seems, with two announcements in as many days about their growth around Australia. First up is the news that their 4G network now reaches almost 23 million Australians.

4G network expansion

Under the network’s spectrum reform project, Vodafone’s holding of 850 MHz spectrum has been converted for use of its 4G network, increasing the footprint by some 20 per cent, extending the reach to more than 95 per cent of the Australian population  (calculated on 2011 census population distribution and current population figures).

This is rather good news, because lower frequency networks, including the 850 MHz band, provide higher quality indoor mobile coverage due to the greater signal propagation characteristics at this frequency. Vodafone’s 850 MHz network complements the existing 1800 MHz 4G network, and the carrier says that compatible handsets will be able to aggregate both networks to optimise their throughput on the go.

Vodafone’s CTO Benoit Hanssen had this to say about the news:

“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.”

VoLTE is coming

It isn’t just the size of Vodafone’s 4G network that’s growing, but also the utility. 4G is great for data, but most carriers require mobiles to drop back to 3G (or worse, 2G) to make actual phone calls. Vodafone has snuck out the announcement that its VoLTE (Voice over LTE) rollout is beginning in capital cities, and those with compatible devices will be able to access the feature soon.

Vodafone haven’t said much recently about which devices are compatible just yet, though it notes newer iPhones running iOS 9.3 are on the list. Sony and Samsung have handsets on the list too, but newer handsets like the Galaxy S7 aren’t yet mentioned.

We’ll check on this and see what’s happening in more detail.

Mobile black spot rollout schedule

Vodafone have also been busy working on reducing the incidence of blackspots, with a schedule of some 70 base stations to be built in regional areas of NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and WA released today. Vodafone’s Dan Lloyd had this to say:

“We believe the Mobile Black Spot Programme is a great way to encourage competition and choice of mobile provider, which is something many people living in regional and rural areas have never experienced.

Vodafone’s rollout of mobile black spot sites is progressing well, with the first location at White Rock Mountain, west of Glenn Innes, in New South Wales switched on in December 2015. A further 28 sites in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania will follow this year, with all 70 sites to be completed by the end of 2017.

We look forward to having a presence in these communities and offering more customers in regional Australia the great service and value we provide on our network, which now covers 97% of Australia’s population.”

The full rollout schedule, for those who want to know the details, is as follows:

Base station Name Base station Identifier State Estimated completion by
White Rock Mountain MBSP-NSW-118 NSW Completed – Q4 2015
Elsmore MBSP-NSW-052 NSW 2016 – Q2
Invergowrie MBSP-NSW-065 NSW 2016 – Q2
Manildra MBSP-NSW-079 NSW 2016 – Q2
Cargo MBSP-NSW-029 NSW 2016 – Q2
Woodstock MBSP-NSW-141 NSW 2016 – Q2
Cooyar MBSP-QLD-019 QLD 2016 – Q2
Walcha MBSP-NSW-130 NSW 2016 – Q3
Kumbia MBSP-QLD-042 QLD 2016 – Q3
Capricorn Highway MBSP-QLD-014 QLD 2016 – Q3
Bothwell MBSP-TAS-003 TAS 2016 – Q3
Hamilton MBSP-TAS-011 TAS 2016 – Q3
Fossickers Way MBSP-NSW-056 NSW 2016 – Q4
Manilla MBSP-NSW-080 NSW 2016 – Q4
Westdale MBSP-NSW-137 NSW 2016 – Q4
Castlereagh Highway (Ben Bullen) MBSP-NSW-030 NSW 2016 – Q4
Cumnock MBSP-NSW-042 NSW 2016 – Q4
Jemalong MBSP-NSW-066 NSW 2016 – Q4
Ungarie MBSP-NSW-128 NSW 2016 – Q4
Weethalle MBSP-NSW-135 NSW 2016 – Q4
Tabbita MBSP-NSW-120 NSW 2016 – Q4
Mid Western Hwy (Gunbar) MBSP-NSW-085 NSW 2016 – Q4
Lowesdale (Riverina Hwy) MBSP-NSW-112 NSW 2016 – Q4
Savernake MBSP-NSW-116 NSW 2016 – Q4
Boyneside MBSP-QLD-010 QLD 2016 – Q4
Crowea MBSP-WA-023 WA 2016 – Q4
Steppes MBSP-TAS-012 TAS 2016 – Q4
Little Swanport MBSP-TAS-029 TAS 2016 – Q4
Piora MBSP-NSW-109 NSW 2017 – Q1
Tabulam MBSP-NSW-022 NSW 2017 – Q1
Barraba MBSP-NSW-008 NSW 2017 – Q1
Attunga MBSP-NSW-004 NSW 2017 – Q1
Hallsville MBSP-NSW-061 NSW 2017 – Q1
Oxley Vale MBSP-NSW-105 NSW 2017 – Q1
Piallamore MBSP-NSW-107 NSW 2017 – Q1
Pilliga Forrest (Newell Hwy) MBSP-NSW-100 NSW 2017 – Q1
Oakdene MBSP-NSW-104 NSW 2017 – Q1
Molong MBSP-NSW-088 NSW 2017 – Q1
Eugowra MBSP-NSW-054 NSW 2017 – Q1
Gooloogong MBSP-NSW-059 NSW 2017 – Q1
Cultowa MBSP-NSW-041 NSW 2017 – Q1
Noonbinna MBSP-NSW-101 NSW 2017 – Q1
Mid Western Hwy (Gunbar South) MBSP-NSW-086 NSW 2017 – Q1
Duri MBSP-NSW-050 NSW 2017 – Q1
Dingo MBSP-QLD-025 QLD 2017 – Q1
Yelvertoft MBSP-QLD-003 QLD 2017 – Q1
Bodallin MBSP-WA-046 WA 2017 – Q1
Miena MBSP-TAS-017 TAS 2017 – Q1
Tarraleah MBSP-TAS-028 TAS 2017 – Q1
Pyengana MBSP-TAS-021 TAS 2017 – Q1
Bicheno MBSP-TAS-002 TAS 2017 – Q1
Swansea MBSP-TAS-025 TAS 2017 – Q1
Buckland MBSP-TAS-005 TAS 2017 – Q1
Culmaran Creek MBSP-NSW-040 NSW 2017 – Q2
Mount Carrington MBSP-NSW-090 NSW 2017 – Q2
Sandy Hills MBSP-NSW-021 NSW 2017 – Q2
Warral MBSP-NSW-121 NSW 2017 – Q2
Moonbi MBSP-NSW-089 NSW 2017 – Q2
Billimaria MBSP-NSW-012 NSW 2017 – Q2
Koorawatha MBSP-NSW-071 NSW 2017 – Q2
Manna Mountain MBSP-NSW-081 NSW 2017 – Q2
Lake Corella MBSP-QLD-005 QLD 2017 – Q2
Brandum MBSP-TAS-004 TAS 2017 – Q2
Wayatinah MBSP-TAS-015 TAS 2017 – Q2
Takone MBSP-TAS-026 TAS 2017 – Q2
Goshen MBSP-TAS-010 TAS 2017 – Q2
Apslawn MBSP-TAS-001 TAS 2017 – Q2
Okehampton Beach MBSP-TAS-020 TAS 2017 – Q2
Verona Sands MBSP-TAS-030 TAS 2017 – Q2
Glen Valley MBSP-VIC-042 VIC 2017 – Q3

As with any plans, this list is subject to change, but if you’re in these areas, you might find that your mobile coverage will increase, and blackspots will reduce, in the coming year or so.

 

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

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6 Comments on "Vodafone update: 4G now reaches 23 million Australians, VoLTE is coming and mobile blackspot schedule announced"

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Phill Edwards
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Phill Edwards

I was with Voda until recently and they were mostly good. I moved away to Aldi because I had poor coverage in my house with calls dropping, and on a trip to Port Macquarie I found the coverage very poor so thought I’d try Telstra’s network.

vijay alapati
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vijay alapati

Still a VodaFail for me, never ever again with vodafone, their reception sucks when ur in lift or, above level 15 or in lower grounds…..and not to mention frequent disconnects

Chris
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Can’t say I’ve experienced these issues Vijay. Maybe I’m in a great coverage area, but about the only place Vodafone doesn’t work at all is Whale Beach, NSW … but nothing works there.

vijay alapati
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vijay alapati

I’m in Melbourne, may be Sydney has great coverage.

Pumpino
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Pumpino

I despise Telstra as a company and don’t rate Optus much better, but I have to admit that I admire Vodafone. Maybe it’s cause I like going for the underdog, but it has really produced a solid network and appears to operate with more decency towards its customers.

Chris
Valued Guest

It really does seem that way. We work with all three carriers, and I’d say we have a good relationship with each, but the news from Vodafone is usually more upbeat, positive, and well received. I think people are starting to realise they’re quite humbled by what happened a few years back, and they’ve worked damned hard to build back from it.

wpDiscuz

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