Telstra 4G spreads, Next G still king
Telstra has revealed that it is selling close to 40,000 "4G" devices per month, and has boasted that a new survey ranks Telstra's Next G network performance above that of Optus and Vodafone.
The company today announced that it has turned on its 1000th long-term evolution (LTE) "4G" base station in Mackay, Queensland, with over 300,000 devices sold since launching the network in September last year.
Up until this week, Telstra had just two 4G phones in the market: the HTC Velocity 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G. This week, the company also launched the HTC Titan 4G. Telstra told ZDNet Australia that of the 300,000 devices sold so far, 70,000 are 4G phones; the rest are either tablets, USB dongles or mobile Wi-Fi devices.
At the same time as the company is experiencing a boom in 4G sales, it is also adding new customers to its 3G network at a record pace, gaining over 2.5 million new customers in almost two years. Customers have reported that this is putting a strain on the network, but Telstra said it has upgraded more than 5000 base stations over the last year to meet the growing demand.
The company backed up its credentials by pointing to a survey conducted by US research firm JD Power and Associates, which said that Telstra has the best mobile network in Australia.
The organisation spoke to 1900 Australian mobile customers between February and March this year, comparing texting, voice calls and data across Telstra, Optus, Virgin and Vodafone, and found that Telstra ranked highest overall, with only 10 customer-reported problems per 100 network connections. The next closest was Virgin Mobile, a subsidiary of Optus, with 13 per 100.
Overall, the report found that Australians have the most problems with slow downloads, at 24 problems per 100 connections, followed by web-connection failures, at 14 per 100. The report noted that the number of problems with Australian networks is relatively similar to that in the US, but Australians reported a slightly higher number of problems with downloads; 24 per 100, compared to 21 per 100 in the US.
Telstra's executive director of mobile, Warwick Bray, said that the results reflect Telstra's own research.
"Our customers tell us they choose Telstra for superior coverage, fewer dropped calls and because they can enjoy reliable mobile data on the move. The research findings confirm what our customers and drive surveys have told us for years, and are a testament to the skill of our network engineering team, which is among the most experienced in the world," Bray said.