The Australian operator has recently deployed 50 4G small cells in the Melbourne area
Australian telecommunications operator Telstra announced plans to rollout small cells across the country in a move to boost capacity and speed in some of the country’s busiest locations, said Channa Seneviratne, executive director for network and infrastructure engineering at Telstra.
The executive said the telco has already installed more than 50 4G small cells across the city of Melbourne as the first stage of a national small cell rollout initiative.
“We’ve been using small cells to extend coverage mostly in rural and remote areas for several years, now we are deploying them in large urban locations around Australia as a cost-effective way to handle the growing demand for data,” he said
The executive said Telstra’s small cell program stipulates the deployment of 1,000 small cells in metro and regional locations within the next three years. Some of these areas include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
The executive also highlighted that each 4G small cell deployment utilizes existing mobile infrastructure at locations such as information hubs and street light and electricity poles.
“These new 4G small cell sites will ensure Telstra customers continue to enjoy the benefits of an excellent experience on our network at a time when data consumption continues to grow more than 40% every year,” Seneviratne added. “Working in concert with our existing 3G and 4G base stations across the city, the small cells will deliver fast internet browsing, video streaming, social media or a mobile office to our customers.”
Telstra expects to activate additional LTE-Advanced features in Melbourne by mid-year, including coordinated multi-point (CoMP) to create a Heterogeneous Network (HetNet).
The Australian telco is also very active in the 5G field, and is currently carrying out trials of this technology in the country’s Gold Coast. Telstra opened its 5G innovation centre in the Gold Coast region in February 2018. The telco said the main aim of the new 5G center will be to test next-generation technologies to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia. Telstra aims to launch commercial 5G services in 2019.
The 5G center is central to a $58 million investment Telstra has made to upgrade infrastructure on the Gold Coast to support growing demand and major events in the area. Telstra will run extensive 5G trials on the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games in April this year.
Telstra previously said that said that it would work with Ericsson on key 5G technologies including massive multiple-input, multiple-output (Massive MIMO), adaptive beamforming and beam tracking, and OFDM-based waveforms in its Gold Coast center.
Last month, the Australian telco said it is set to launch what it claims to be the world’s first 5G supported Wi-Fi hotspots and roll out a 5G-connected car on the country’s Gold Coast.
While there are no 5G-enabled consumer devices available at this stage, the Australian telco will connect 5G backhaul and infrastructure from an exchange to a Wi-Fi access point, so it can be used on existing 4G devices.