Telstra, Optus prepare 4G battle for Newcastle

 

War for LTE begins.

Newcastle is set to become a fresh battleground for mobile subscribers as rival carriers launch next-generation networks in the NSW Hunter region city, according to analysts.

Optus is set to unveil its first Long Term Evolution network in the area this week, using the city - along with the Hunter Valley and stretching north to Port Stephens - as a testbed for the nascent technology.

Its network, built on Huawei technology, will boast speeds of up to 40 Mbps download - more than five times the theoretical speeds available with Optus today - and potentially more reliable coverage.

Despite seemingly successful trials, however, Optus has kept all details on pricing, devices and availability outside of "April 2012" close to its chest.

Telstra's competing LTE network has been available in Newcastle for seven months, allowing users with one of five compatible devices to tap into the faster speeds.

The telco's marketing ploy has relied on charging the same as it does for its existing Next G network and providing a seamless switch between 4G and predecessor networks.

But announcing its intentions this week to double its LTE mobile footprint in the Newcastle area - within days of Optus' launch - shows the beginning of a battle for subscribers looking for the fastest possible speeds.

An Optus spokesman said the telco was "not worried" but analysts told iTnews the rival telcos' marketing and pricing plans will determine who better entices customers between networks.

"With one LTE operator in a given area, there is potential to poach subscribers from another operator not offering LTE," said Ovum telco analyst, Nicole McCormick.

"However, two LTE operators in a single area diffuses this swap-over scenario. In this case, the debate over which LTE service to choose will come down to price and what LTE devices are available and possibly speed of service."

Telstra garnered at least 100,000 subscribers in the three months since launching its national LTE network in September last year and the number is set to grow dramatically for all carriers as they slowly migrate to the faster services.

Telsyte this week predicted device sales would grow to 350,000 by the middle of this year, rapidly increasing to seven million devices sold by mid 2016.

The introduction of Vodafone Australia to the 4G market sometime next year, as well as the sale and division of radio spectrum better suited to such networks, would likely contribute to growing demand.

Beginning the retail battle in Newcastle - with a population of nearly 300,000 - rather than a data-hungry capital city, strikes some observers as unusual.

"At the regional level I think the impact of 4G will be minimal as the number of users who desperately need high-speed data connections, at the beginning they're still in the cities," Telsyte analyst Alvin Lee said.

In the longer term, users would become more enticed by the 4G network as a faster option over current 3G capabilities as well as a potential replacement for fixed-line networks in some circumstances.

As competition grows, too, the number of customers are likely to increase.

"Telstra is a fierce competitor on LTE," McCormick said. "It is determined at the very least to keep its blue-chip customers in Newcastle from potentially churning to Optus if it was the sole LTE provider in that city."

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Telstra, Optus prepare 4G battle for Newcastle
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Another phone with Telstra's Blue Tick: The Samsung Galaxy S5
Apr 8, 2014
Samsung's latest flagship phone joins Telstra's list of recommended handsets for customers in ...
Run an online shop? This might be worth bookmarking
Mar 28, 2014
Things like Australian safety standards are probably the last thing on your mind, but just ...
Vodafone switches on 4G in Tasmania: list of locations
Mar 28, 2014
See a list of locations in Tasmania that now have access to 4G via Vodafone's network.
Samsung Galaxy S5 on sale from Telstra next month for $912
Mar 27, 2014
It's not cheap, but if you are looking to upgrade your phone then the Samsung Galaxy S5 could be ...
What Australian workplaces actually rely on tablet computers?
Mar 14, 2014
If you're curious about where tablets are being used at work, here are three examples.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1458

Vote