Congestion. It is the bane of our existence in the modern world. We all love our data but if there are too many users on the same network surrounding you then your bandwidth is very limited. In a bid to improve the reception and data speeds around the Melbourne CBD Telstra are installing extra 4G stations at various locations.

The 50 new “small cells” in the Melbourne CBD are miniature versions of their standard mobile base stations and are placed at their busiest areas. In Melbourne these are near the intersections of Spencer St and Collins St, Spencer St and Bourke St, and Flinders St and St. Kilda Rd — hardly surprising.

These small cells are designed to maintain high data speeds in congested areas. With data consumption growing by over 40% each year this is not an easy task.

Image Credit: CRN Australia

Small cells are not a new solution with Telstra already employing them in rural areas.

We have been using small cells to extend coverage mostly in rural and emote 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…..We have now put small cells at some of Melbourne’s busiest locations – from Southern Cross station, to Degraves St, to Young and Jackson’s Hotel on Flinders St to the front of the Tennis Centre.Channa Seneviratne, Telstra’s Executive Director for Network and Infrastructure Engineering

In the coming months Telstra will be improving on this with the activation of additional LTE Advanced features in the CBD in a bid to improve the efficiency and performance of the network.

Melbourne is the first stage of a national rollout of small cells with plans for deployment currently into Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth CBDs.

Telstra are right — we are using more and more data each year and everyone hates congestion. Hopefully this will improve the issue that many people have with network congestion in Melbourne’s CBD and in coming months other CBDs around Australia.

Are you in Melbourne’s CBD and with Telstra? Have your data speeds improved?

Source: Telstra.
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I only hope they stick some in to cover the city loop that’s where I have the most issues.

Philip Clark

Any word on if Boost will also make use of these cells?


All MVO’s would use them. You would think though, Melbourne being one of our major cities that major cell towers should be built instead. As for the blurb about ‘Telstra are right, we are using more data’ makes you wonder how Optus are going to handle their so called unlimited plan for $60 as a previously news post suggested on here.


There are plenty of major cell towers in the CBD, the problem is they are saturated! These small cells work exactly the same way but in a smaller area. To improve your access to the network you have to do one or both of three things, add more frequencies allowing more at the same time, increase speeds so you need access for less time or shrink the size of a cell so it covers less people, this is what they are doing, instead of one major tower serving 1,000 people they are having 2, 3 or more small cells serve… Read more »


One or both of THREE things ???