Telstra's got a 12-month head start on its competitors when it comes to 4G, and now it's propelling itself even further ahead in the 4G race, today announcing a massive expansion plan for the next 10 months that will see its network cover 66 per cent of the population by mid-next year.
Over the next 10 months, Telstra plans to boost its existing 4G network — which currently covers 40 per cent of the population — out to 66 per cent of the population.
Here's the state-by-state breakdown:
• Brisbane: Coverage will 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 coverage to span from Surfers Paradise in the East to Greystanes in the West and from Tugun in the South to Hope Island in the North.
• Sydney: Telstra will double the existing Sydney coverage, spanning from Manly in the East to Greystanes in the West, and from Kogarah in the South to Hornsby in the North.
• Canberra: Coverage will span from Queanbeyan in the East to Duffy in the West and from Farrer in the South to Moncreif in the North
• Melbourne: Telstra is doubling the 4G coverage in Melbourne, with coverage to span from Ringwood in the East to Werribee in the West and from Bentleigh in the South to Epping in the North.
• Adelaide: 4G coverage will be doubled in Adelaide, coverage will stretch from Magill in the East to Henley Beach in the West, and from Torrents Park in the South to Broadview in the North.
• Perth: More 4G coverage doubling in Perth, with service set to span from Maida Vale in the East to Fremantle in the West and from Willetton in the South to Dianella in the North.
As a bonus, Telstra is switching on 4G coverage from today at Bondi in Sydney and in the North Sydney rail tunnels. Telstra said that it's working on coverage in "every tunnel in every city in Australia".
There are 1000 new base stations coming for the 4G expansion, and Telstra has said that it won't need to acquire new spectrum from the Digital Dividend auctions to support this rapid expansion plan, but the telco has said that it will try to get hold of more spectrum at government auction.
As far as new devices are concerned, Telstra has promised five new 4G-enabled smartphones before the end of 2012, and in 2013 the carrier expects that two-thirds of all smartphones released on the network will be 4G capable. As far as devices on the network are currently concerned, Telstra currently has 160,000 4G smartphones live on its network and 340,000 devices now live for mobile broadband.
Telstra won't name the new devices, and assures us that "we don't have any information about new iPhone devices". That's according to Warwick Bray, executive director of Mobile for Telstra.