Telstra: 4G will serve 66 per cent of Australia by mid-2013

Telstra promises 4G will cover 66 per cent of the Australian population by mid-2013

Telstra's 4G network: expanding to cover more of Australia's population over the next 10 months.

Telstra's 4G network: expanding to cover more of Australia's population over the next 10 months.

Telstra has today announced the expansion of its 4G mobile network coverage, promising to cover 66 per cent of the Australian population by mid-2013.

The telco revealed today that it will "more than double" its current 4G coverage areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth over the next 10 months. The first 4G expansion launched today in Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach and on the city's North Shore railway line tunnels.

"Our network expansion kicks off in Sydney today where we’re introducing some of the world’s fastest mobile internet speeds to customers visiting iconic Bondi Beach and to underground rail passengers travelling on the North Shore line between Central and North Sydney stations," said Telstra's Chief Operations Officer Brendon Riley.

Telstra's 4G network expansion will see the installation of 1000 new 4G base stations across the country by mid 2013. Once the new base stations are active, the telco says the 4G network will reach approximately 66 per cent of the Australian population, up from the 40 per cent it claims to serve today.

"Once the network expansion is complete Telstra 4G will cover even more of Australia’s highest population centres," said Riley. "For instance, coverage will stretch out in a 10-15 kilometre radius from the Sydney GPO and a 15-20 kilometre radius from the Melbourne GPO," said Riley.

"Our investment is geared towards sustaining our network reach and performance for all our existing and potential new customers – particularly anyone looking to trade up to a 4G device."

Telstra first launched its 4G network in September 2011. At the time of launch, coverage stretched across all eight capital cities and their respective airports in Australia, along with 30 regional and metropolitan centres, and spanned 5km from capital city GPOs (General Post Office) and 3km from regional and metropolitan GPOs.

In the 12 months since Telstra launched its 4G network, the company claims to have sold more than half a million 4G devices, with over 160,000 of those 4G smartphones. The telco says it will launch five new 4G smartphones by the end of this year, but refused to speculate whether Apple's widely expected iPhone 5 will be one of those.

The upcoming iPhone 5, expected to officially launch in September, is widely expected to come with 4G/LTE connectivity, but it is unknown whether it will support the 1800MHz network band Telstra's 4G network uses.

Current Telstra 4G smartphones sold in Australia include the HTC One XL, the HTC Velocity 4G, the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G and the HTC Titan 4G.

Telstra's planned 4G network coverage expansion is detailed, state-by-state, below:

    Brisbane: Plan to more than double the coverage to stretch from Brisbane Airport in the East to Indooroopilly in the West and from Coopers Plains in the South to Chermside in the North.
    Gold Coast: New planned coverage stretching from Surfers Paradise in the East to Nerang in the West and from Tugun in the South to Hope Island in the North.
    Sydney: Plan to more than double the coverage to stretches from Manly in the East to Greystanes in the West and from Kogarah in the South to Hornsby in the North.
    Canberra: Planned coverage from Queanbeyan in the East to Duffy in the West and from Farrer in the South to Moncrieff in the North.
    Melbourne: Plan to more than double the coverage to stretch from Ringwood in the East to Werribee in the West and from Bentleigh in the South to Epping in the North.
    Adelaide: Plan to more than double the coverage to stretch from Magill in the East to Henley Beach in the West and from Torrens Park in the South to Broadview in the North.
    Perth: Plan to more than double the coverage, to stretch from Maida Vale in the East to Fremantle in the West and from Willetton in the South to Dianella in the North.

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Ross Catanzariti

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