Tech Talk


EOFY so time to build a new desktop. I’ve always tried to get a high spec system to future proof the build so will be interesting to see how the latest hardware compares to a 3-4 year old machine.


I’ve had my current PC for 7 years now. In that time I’ve changed the case, graphics card and upgraded the RAM to 16GB from 8GB. I started out with a GTX 550 Ti graphics card, but then upgraded to a GTX 960 about 2 years ago. I regret not buying a more expensive one - mine has only got 2GB of video memory, so I can’t play many newer games on max settings.

It’s so old that the motherboard doesn’t have USB 3.0 headers, and I had to get a PCI-E card for USB3 (which in itself is a bit dodgy). The CPU is an Intel i5-2500K, which is still pretty good. For everyday stuff I have no complaints, and even when I’m gaming I can’t really blame the CPU for underperforming - it’s usually the video memory that’s the bottleneck.

I paid around $618 for the system in 2011, so not too bad of a deal r eally.


That is because outside of Sydney metro, Melbourne metro, Wollongong (as far south as Kiama) & Geelong Orange/3CDMA parent company HTAL never owned the remaining 2nd lot of 850MHz spectrum, Telecom NZ via their (then) ownership of AAPT owned the rest in Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth.

From memory that was the spectrum auctions of 1998 when Telecom Australia were forced to look at changing AMPS t(1G) o a digital 2G standard, Telecom chose CDMA and so who ever bought the 2nd lot of 850Mhz spectrum would have to also go with CDMA as technology platform also in order to get roaming access as that was part of the auction rules which is why Optus & Vodafone never bothered with going for that spectrum at the time and instead chose to buy 1800MHz spectrum as did One.Tel^ (oops) and Telstra ended up with regional 1800MHz spectrum which Telstra used for point to point microwave backhual for there regional GSM network.

^One.Tel launched the “Next Gen” 1800 network in mid 2000, roughly the same time that Orange launched CDMA services, One.Tel did not last long and the spectrum & vast majority of the customer base and the physical network would end up in the hands of Telstra (the largest creditor), if you think Orange was bad then One.Tel GSM 1800MHz was far far far worse with the majority of customers even inside One.Tel coverage footprint were roaming on Telstra GSM at significant increase in per minute call cost and flag fall. lets just say the old man was 1st pissed at wasting $550 million on Super League only to be further pissed at blowing away close to $1.3 billion on One.Tel, the other old man told his son, don’'t worry we will get it back …

So when Orange launched the CDMA service in early 2000 they only did so in Sydney & Melbourne and it was only for post paid customers, their marketing was Local Home Zone + Mobile & Orange Roaming (Telstra CDMA), it was not until mid 2005 when they finally started Orange Prepaid and also allow prepaid customers access to Orange Roaming (with a heavy price increase when roaming for prepaid customers).

In the meantime HTAL had purchased 2100MHz spectrum (as did Optus (although Optus never bought in ACT, Telstra ended up geting the ACT allocation of spectrum) & Vodafone) for the future upgrade of GSM 2G to UMTS 3G although this time round they bought spectrum in each capital city and launched 3 Mobile on 3rd March 2003 (03-03-2003) , they did a deal with Vodafone for national roaming but as many would remember 3 Mobile at 1st (this was prior to 3GIS otherwise known as 3TELSTRA) was bad, like really bad, worse than Orange CDMA or One.Tel GSM levels of bad, who here remembers the NEC clamshell handsets?

3 Mobile NEC e808 3G device

It was in 2005 that 3 Mobile ended the agreement with Vodafone for 3G roaming and sold half of there 3G 2100 physical network and spectrum to Telstra to create the company called 3GIS to create the 3TELSTRA UMTS network, for Telsra it over night got them into 3G 2100 before Optus (which were building 3G 2100 slowly as they were focusing on GSM 900/1800) and Vodafone which then entered into a joint venture with each other to roll out 3G 2100 on each others towers ect from 2006, for 3 Mobile it meant access to national Telstra GSM (yes even inside 3 Mobile coverage areas if you used a GSM only handset, which many did once they figure it out) while at the same time massive upgrade to the 3G 2100 network , I myself because a 3 Mobile customer in May 2006 and stayed with 3 Mobile right up until the distaste that was Three/Vodafone joint venture VHA.

As part of the 3TELSTRA did Telstra and HTAL did a deal where Orange would also start to sell Orange prepaid service on a national level, little did anyone outside of Telstra know that the 3 amigos (now that is a throwback reference) were planing something big for the 850Mhz spectrum and change the way that mobile data would be the big revenue earner and not phone calls/sms.

I’ll leave it at this point as that is enough history right now about the late 90’s up to mid 2000’s mobile telecoms talk to digest.


Some further trivia, HTAL Orange Mobile originally started out as a re seller of Optus GSM services.

Another trivia info spot: Did you know Optus re-sold Telstra CDMA as Optus MobileCDMA? yes that was a thing, also Primus and AAPT re-sold Telstra CDMA services.

Also One.Tel started out as an air time seller of Optus GSM, it was not until mid 1999 that One.Tel was invested into by Packer jnr & Murdoch jnr, when One.Tel was liquidated Telstra as the biggest creditor as One.Tel chose Telstra instead of Optus for national mobile roaming (well they had to as Optus flat out said not interested once the kids were involved as they were burnt with the whole Optus Vision / Super League war thing that happened earlier in the decade), Optus via legacy deals were also a creditor of One.Tel.

When One.Tel exploded the fragments of the company went like this:

  • Telstra got the physical network, 1800MHz spectrum, ACMA allocated 0400 prefix and the One.Tel Gen Gen customer base (who were obligated to go with Telstra until their original One.Tel contracts ran out)
  • Optus retained the remaining One.Tel resale customer base + some other things like back end networks.

As mentioned above in this post when HTAL Orange GSM was shut down Optus retained the re-sale customer base although customers were not obligated to stay with Optus direct, it was reported that Optus managed to convert up 85% of that customer base over to Optus direct GSM customers, pretty much like today with Virgin Mobile shutdown (even though Optus owns the brand for sales) that customer base (even ones under contract) are not obligated to stay with Optus.

Also Orange CDMA was rebranded to 3CDMA in March 1 2006 until HTAL shut down 3CDMA and the network on August 9 2006 as a way to market 3 Mobile to that customer base to make them select 3 Mobile and not leave for other services.

The next big explosion in mobile networks was 2006 but I leave that for later on followed by some stability until 2009 and then fireworks in 2011.


Speaking about cell sites, what was up with the AAPT microwave sites that were at Debney Park Secondary (now Mount Alexander) and some other inner city High Schools, they are still up on the ACMA DB as they were an RF transmitting site.

I know for sure that the antennas are still up there on the Chernobyl roof and I presume that they were some sort of cellular link pointing towards 101 Collins or some other city building for internet backhaul.

Did AAPT ever have some sort of agreement with the State of Victoria to use school roofs as mesh sites for some network or were they used by the schools themselves before the cut over to Netspace?


AAPT is now part of TPG, maybe TPG are using this microwave backual for there new 700/2.6GHz network.


I seem to vaguely remember Telstra promoting i-mode services for literally a matter of months in 2004 before the Three-Telstra network sharing deal. The service seemed to be a really pissy slow half-baked attempt to compete with Three. This article is from November 2004:

Then, less than a year later, here’s an article about the launch of Telstra’s 3G network (not NextG) in September 2005.

Then, again less than a year later, Telstra launched their independent NextG network to replace the CDMA network and take priority over the shared Hutchison-Telstra 3G network:

And then less than 18 months later, Telstra CDMA shut down:

Amazing how fast the mobile networks evolved around that time.


And here’s a bloody brilliant video which was produced for Telstra showing off WAP capabilities in 2000:

and a Telstra “visions of the future” video from 2000, which seems to have been intended for streaming online via broadband…probably in 256x144 resolution RealMedia format.


Oh I remember WAP.

I specifically got a Nokia 3330 instead of a 3310 back in 2001 just for WAP.

Though the experience was largely underwhelming. I would often use it to check football scores, but it would often time out and return nothing at all. When it did work, it was VERY slow, used to take 30 seconds to get a plain simple sentence with just the score and nothing else.


I-Mode was really obscure tech supported by only a small handful of handsets outside of the Japanese market. While I totally get why Telstra introduced it at the time (to compete with the content rich 3G offering that 3 was promoting on launch) it never had more than about a year of life in it.

Was a tricky time to buy a phone and expect it to last for the whole 2 year contract without it becoming obsolete in 12 months or less!


Is CDMA still used anywhere in the world… For some reason i think it is still in use in the US???


In the GSM world CSD or WAP which was first launched by Optus using a specific Nokia 7110 GSM handset, they all followed suite soon enough.

Telstra introduced GPRS data and used i-Mode branding but also did normal GPRS access, Optus WAP was re-branded to Optus Zoo (and featured content from Nine Network) and Vodafone had their version but you needed a Vodafone firmware based handset to access the content because it needed certificate access (it was a form of encryption for copyright).

In the 3G world 3 Mobile introduced “Planet 3” mobile web portal and sponsored Big Brother and did live TV streaming from the BB House + SBS & ABC and heaps of other “mobile broadband” content.

GPRS data (maxing out at what 40kbits) never stood a chance against UMTS data (maxing out at 384kbits) or even CDMA 1xRTT.

In the CDMA world (so Orange & Telstra but not the Telstra CDMA re-sellers) roughly at the same time Orange launched 1xRTT (which was around 144kbits data speed) and then Telstra in around 2003 launched EVDO Rev.0 (or it might of been Rev.A) which at 1st was 1.8Mbits then maxing out to 3.1Mbits, Orange did roll out EDVO but only maxing to 1.8Mbits.

However as data was (very) expensive not may people bothered with mobile wireless or restricted to walled gardens like Planet 3 / Optus Zoo / Telstra i-Mode sand whatever Vodafone called their service , I seem to recall “Vodafone Now” was the name of their wap/gprs based web portal.

Some of the best features of Planet 3 was 3 E-Mail and all the video content they could offer over their network.

From March 2003 to September 2005 Three Mobile had the 3G world to themselves in Australia even their sister company Orange could not keep up however being a Three Mobile customer in that time frame was at best less than acceptable in terms of network performance and coverage since outside 3 Mobile network coverage you were roaming on Vodafone GSM.

So looking forward in 2004 Telstra was about to shake up the market when they basically bought 50% of the Three Mobile Radio Access network and then launched Telstra 3G (not to be confused with Telstra NextG and boy oh boy did that cause all types of confusion in the market place), at the same time (or near the same time) Three announce the end of Vodafone roaming and switches to Telstra GSM roaming (which was great for Three Mobile customers in terms of coverage but costs rates were crazy example: $2.75 per 1MB while Roaming on GPRS) this forces Optus & Vodafone to build a shared 3G network (although unlike 3GIS each side retains ownership of the spectrum they initial purchased), the new 3GIS network launches September 2005, Vodafone 3G launches in roughly October 2005 while Optus 3G launches in November 2005, things are progressing well for Three now that Telstra is on-board, it was roughly this time that Vodafone did the 1st “bucket” style all in plans, 3Mobile followed in early February 2006 when they announced the end of Orange CDMA by re-branding it 3CDMA.

In June 2006 Telstra announces Telstra NextG on 850Mhz and starts selling services by September 2006 and plans by December 2007 to shut down Telstra CDMA, this forces HTAL to quickly end 3CDMA from August 9 2006 3 Mobile becomes HTAL main brand, Optus well and truly caught with its pants down make the stupid announcement that they would match Telstra NextG coverage using 2100MHz spectrum then realise they would need close to 5,000 extra base stations at a cost blow out of maybe $2 billion to do so, they quickly and quietly remove those plans from public notice, instead Optus focuses on for some reason extending GSM network (which we find out later the reason why they did this, that is for later on to be told).

On the same day Telstra NextG launches Telstra also launch GSM EDGE service, 3 Mobile announce plans for HSDPA service and launch in March 2007 a new mobile broadband service called “X-Series” which see 3 Mobile able to provide 3.6Mbits data and also starts rolling out mobile data blocks of 250MB for $4, 500MB for $7, 1GB for $14, also when roaming on Telstra GSM “Planet 3 Lite” was launched., X-Series enabled handsets were HSDPA 14.4Mbits and also some HSPA+ 21Mbits on offer later on like the Nokia 6120cand the LG KU990 Viewty (which I personally owned and still have in storage).

It stay pretty quite through 2007 till about mid 2008 in terms of what was going on with the big 4 mobile companies, the next big story was the Commonwealth Govt controlled by the coalition making a deal with with Elders & Optus to build a regional “Wi-Max” network using 2.3GHz (regional) owned by AUSTAR + open public spectrum in the 5.6GHz to be called the OPEL Network (think of that as today’s version of NBN Co Fixed Wireless except in Wi_Max not LTE mode), for the record the 3.5GHz metro spectrum was used by Unwired (which ironically was owned by none other than former pay TV managers that ran Australias-Media pay TV company Galaxy), more on ^Unwired later.

Back to OPEL Network, Labour won the 2007 federal election and one of the 1st things it did once in control of the Commonwealth Govt was to can OPEL Network and also force Telstra to continue CDMA service until Telstra could prove NextG (3G850) was good if not better at coverage over CDMA, during all this AUSTAR still sold to Optus the regional 2.3GHz spectrum (as they were not using it and that plays into something else well down the road later on re: NBN Co) and Telstra by the start of March was given permission to shut down CDMA on April 28 2008.

^ Unwired was only in Sydney & Melbourne metro, was a Wi-Max portable fixed location wireless broadband service using the old Galaxy/TARBS (anyone remember TARBS MDS?) MDS base station / repeater network, at best it was an ok service providing around 1.1Mbits provided signal was near line of sight to the nearest MDS repeater (which you had to guess as that info was not disclosed then), ironically it was AUSTAR that did a deal with Unwired in the 1st palce to use the 3.5GHz spectrum for metro while AUSTAR through AUSTAR Broadband did a trial of Wi-Max in Wagga Wagga using 2.3GHz spectrum, when OPEL Network was formed AUSTAR quickly sold its 2.3GHz spectrum to OPEL (for a cheap $65 million Optus ended up with 98MHz of 2.3GHz), anyway to quickly end this side note Unwired was sold to Seven which re-branded it as Vividwireless (which Seven was operating in Perth market) somehow regional and metro spectrum was swapped around and Optus ended up with the 2.3GHz spectrum once OPEL was terminated and then Optus ended up with Vividwireless which saw them also take the 3.5GHz spectrum, when NBN Co was announced by Labor Optus did a deal for spectrum swap so NBN Co fixed wireless is 2.3GHz and Optus owns the 2.3GHz metro and regional 3.5GHz spectrum, and that as they say is the story of Unwired, today its Optus LTE being sold as Home Wireless in combination with the Vividwirelss branding using metro 2.3GHz spectrum and in regional areas its NBN Co Fixed Wireless LTE TDD service also using 2.3GHz regional spectrum and Optus is roling out LTE TDD 3.5GHz in several areas getting ready for 5G mobile / mobile broadband services.

Okay that is enough for today installment of "mid 2000’s to 2008 (and up to 2012 + today 2018) history about mobile networks and the companies that run them.

From here on in the only major things to happen are in short:

  • Apple iPhone launches and causes all sorts of hysteria but not for Australia as it officially was not sold here until the 3g.
  • Android starts to take off with the Samsung Galaxy S

Fro the network side of things:

  • 3 Mobile get access to Telstra NextG
  • Optus start to re-farm 900MHz for 3G on a national scale as do Vodafone for at 1st regional.
  • The unholy alliance of Three Mobile & Vodafone which causes so much trouble that twitter becomes alight with the #Vodafail tag dominating several discussion.
  • Telstra launches 4G LTE
  • 3Mobile as a brand ends (and so with it major competition in the market place)
  • Mobile data wars begin

But that is for later on.


I had Unwired in the late 2000s. It worked fine when I lived in Merrylands but when I moved a couple of kms away to Guildford I was in a blackspot and couldn’t get a signal. I then got an Optus USB stick.


I’ve got a WIN News Canberra report just before the close down - top story in the bulletin -


yeah Sprint, Verizon and US Cellular use CDMA


just on mobile coverage (population not geographic) some important numbers from the past:

Forgetting about PAMTS 007 network as that was never intended for personal use, even then it was limited to major cities and used FMD back to base transmission


Telecom MobileNet 018 (and by virtue of re-selling Optus Mobile 018/015) reached around 91.4% of the population at time of shut down in December 31 1999, it would be official fully switched off in September 2000.

Telstra GSM stooped being expanded around the time of Telstra NextG so at its peak in September 2006 Telstra GSM population coverage was around 96.5% and at its shut down (November 30 2016) was approx 94% population coverage as Telstra had started to re-farm 900MHz for LTE 900MHz (which I think is band 8) in QLD Sun Shine Coast, Gold Coast and several other regions as a CA with 1800MHz, today 900MHz is being used for LTE-B (Broadcast) which Telstra only in the last month has started to roll out.

Telstra CDMA initially offered as a dual network service with Telstra AMPS, the 1st batch of handsets allowed users to either stay on AMPS or use CDMA (several Hyundai & LG handsets had that ability), at its peak Telstra CDMA hit a population coverage target of 98.4% at time of shut down April 2008.

Telstra NextG (3G850, for 3GIS 3Telstra please read below the Three Mobile part, not 3GIS 2100) at launch manages to hit a population coverage target of 96.5%, that would be expanded in early 2007 to 98.2% matching Telstra CDMA coverage, however their are issues namely Telstra UMTS coverage in reality was not as good as Telstra CDMA was but it was allowed to shut down, once CDMA shut down Telstra used to rest of the spectrum to deploy DC-HSPA+ 42Mbits and HSUPA 5.5Mbits (up). Telstra in August 2012 would split 3GIS and take with it about 55% of the network with them and merge it into NextG, around mid 2013 Telstra stopped investing in NextG other than required maintenance and instead focused on LTE services (and ahem clearing throat we have seen both Telstra 3G and 4G have several major issues because of Telstra cutting back and putting money into wrong areas), its absolute total of 3G850/2100 population coverage is 99.3%, which way more than its nearest competitor Optus can manage.

Telstra gained ownership of metro 1800MHz spectrum after One.Tel had collapsed, they used it for launch GPRS then EDGE and eventually rolled it over to LTE FDD service, the regional spectrum was used at first as a microwave backhual P2P network to link regional base stations back to the local exchanges, that changed and now they have a nation LTE 1800 (slowly slowly they have 700, 900 (LTE-B), 1800 & 2.6GHz), since 1800MHz was used for GSM it was all part of the Dual Band GSM coverage which is mentioned above, as for LTE, LTE 1800 only makes up a small portion of total population coverage however at 1st use as LTE it was from each city center able to go to 5 then 10km range, the regional side of the network was many areas get LTE as standalone network for mobile broadband places like Bathurst, Orange in NSW ect and many many more.

Telstra LTE which is everything from 1800, 2100 (being switched to IoT), 900 (although that is being switched to LTE-B), 2600 and 700MHz and soon to be joined by 3.5GHz and potentially 600MHz (should there be another re-stack of the UHF TV network band), total population coverage right now is 98.5% and will hit the 99.3% (Telstra 3G) population coverage target soon.


At time of Optus GSM shut down (April 1 2017) the population coverage was rated at 97.9%
Optus did have GSM1800 and used it for GPRS and then later on EDGE but started to phase out GSM1800 at the start of Optus LTE service, although numbers are hard to find the Optus GSM1800 network did have a population range of 60% all metro as it was never offered into regional areas as they never had 1800Mhz regional spectrum, it’s only recently that Optus have purchased 1800Mhz spectrum and will be using it for regional LTE.

Optus 3G prior to doing a JV with Vodafone to roll out 3G was launched in capital cities and even then limited to CBD parts of those cities, the major roll out saw Newcastle and Central Coast & Gold Coast get Optus 3G2100 it first outside capital city CBD zones, once the deal was made with Vodafone Optus 3G 2100 eventually reached 56% of the population, Optus then rolled out their own regional 3G2100 (at great expense) network thus taking Optus 3G 2100 to 80% population coverage where it is still at today as a signal band 3G network.

Optus 3G900 became a reality once Optus figured out there was no way forward to match Telstra NextG using 2100MHz network band. So in 2009 through to 2012 Optus re-farmed 900MHz and not only was it for regional but they added to the capacity of the metro network by making it a national 3G900 network branded as the (stupid name) YesG network which was switched to ON 3G (Optus Network) and then again re-branded as simply “Yes Mobile”, total its again simply known as Optus 3G (yep they tried everything to get customers to notice), anyway at present the Optus 3G (900/2100) network has a population coverage range of 98.5%, that is impressive but still well behind Telstra.

Optus 4G is a crazy spectrum and technology mix of 700, 1800, 2100, some 900 (testing LTE-B), 2600 all in FDD and 2300 in TDD and trialing 3.5GHz also in TDD but getting ready to roll out 5G once allowed to do so, in total population coverage via FDD side is said to be at 96% and Optus wants to hit 98.5%, while 2.3GHz is limited to metro regions so that limits it to 60%.


Vodafone GSM (still in operation in several regions) only managed to reach 92% population coverage at its peak and relied on Telstra GSM in Victoria & Tasmania to hit 94% population coverage.
Vodafone also had 1800MHz for GSM and used it for GPRS & then EDGE, totay its used for LTE FDD.

Vodafone at first re-farmed regional 900MHz to 3G so by doing that they enhanced population coverage from 56% to approx 80% and slowly grew that to about 90% dual band 2100 (metro)/900 (regional). It was not until VHA that Vodafone extended the 900MHz to 3G by re-farming metro to 3G900, it now gets messy for Vodafone at this point:

Vodafone 3G850 which is the former 3 Mobile (read below) + AAPT (which AAPT never used) 850MHz spectrum, this was rolled out at 1st to regional (where 3 Mobile had already established regional 850MHz) then major cities, however at this time VHA had the whole “Vodafail” thing going on a giant mess of shit happened because VHA were caught short handed as they tried to balance the end of 3GIS and a change over from Telstra 3G/GSM roaming (for both sets of customer bases, 3G/GSM for 3 Mobile & Telstra GSM for Vodafone) while also merging everything under 1 banner and rolling it all up into 1 big network, eventually the combined Vodafone 3G 850/900/2100 tri-band network would reach around 95% population coverage + it was announced that Vodafone customers would get access to Optus regional 3G900 via roaming taking their total to about 96.5% population coverage.

Vodafone 4G started out as LTE1800 and was limited to metro CBD’s and some suburbs and was on an invite system only , it was not until VHA announced they were switching 3G850 to LTE usage that the invite system was done away with and that Vodafone expanded population coverage, today its a mix of 850/1800/2100 and will soon have 700 and 2.6GHz however total population coverage is very week , no one really knows the exact number as VHA only state that 96% of the metro population has access to LTE (I should add that that info is probably out of date as I have no bothered to do any research about VHA and only am mentioning what I can recall form their advertising).

Orange / 3CDMA - 3Mobile / 3GIS 3Telstra

Orange / 3CDMA was only offered in Sydney metro, Melbourne metro and two regional locations of Wollongong (NSW) & Geelong (VIC), their was some news from HTAL that Orange/3CDMA was going to expand to Central Coast (NSW) & Newcastle (NSW) but that never happened once Telstra announced plans to shut down Telstra CDMA, at its peak (August 2005) according to HTAL data total customer base of Orange CDMA was 486,000 subscribers, that is pretty decent in terms of where service coverage was provided to.

Orange CDMA for post paid customers did offer regional roaming (which blocked out metro and then later on Wollongong & Geelong) meaning Orange CDMA post paid population coverage was a total of 96.5% or matching Telstra GSM total while Telstra did not offer the extended range of a further 1.9% of rural population coverage, it was seen as a complimentary service and as such Orange never sold to customers outside their own network population footprint, Orange eventually offered CDMA prepaid service, same rules applied as Orange post paid so was not a wide ranging marketed service.

At time of Orange/3CDMA shut down, HTAL managed to convert around 290,000 from the 486,000 customer base to 3 Mobile using various special plans like the Talk9 and Talk&Text saver plans, I remember buying 5 LG U8330 from 3Mobile for $29 each as I was a 3CDMA prepaid customer and then unlocking them and reselling them for $139 each (which was the retail price), cost to unlock was only $7 so made a nice profit at HTAL expense :rofl:

3Mobile (when it was not 3GIS network) at its absolute peak only had approx 40% population coverage, with national roaming (and yes you could be on Vodafone GSM within 3 Mobile network coverage at that point in time as it was not location blocked) that was still limited to approx 80% total (40% 3 Mobile or 80% if roaming on Vodafone GSM) population coverage, the reason why HTAL went with Vodafone for roaming at the time was due to Vodafone Australia owning around 10% of HTAL Australia 3 Mobile subsidiary (also Telecom NZ through AAPT also owned a portion of the company also which comes into play later on around 2009)

When 3GIS was announced (3Telstra) overnight (well within 3 months) 3 Mobile and Telstra 3G population coverage hit 56% and its main peak was 60% at the the time 3GIS was disbanded (August 2012), 3 Mobile customers also had to be issued with new USIM cards in order to receive the new regional Telstra GSM roaming service, however there was a catch to roaming, 3 Mobile were kicking customers off customers if they abused GSM roaming, it happened to a friend of mine who was using Telstra GSM full time while being a 3 Mobile customer as they were using a Nokia GSM device, with Telstra regional roaming total population coverage was 96.5%.

3 Mobile announce they have acquired the remaining 850MHz spectrum from AAPT and intend to offer a further expand 3 Mobile network to approx 85% (up from the 3GIS 60% population) population coverage and also make a deal with Telstra for NextG (3G850) regional coverage in addition to Telstra GSM coverage for a total 3G (dual band) population coverage of 96.5% matching what is offered by 3G/2G population coverage.

and finally, gees I did not expect this reply to be this long :slight_smile:

TPG Mobile

Very little is known other than they own 700MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum that Vodafone failed to buy at the time of that auction period.
They are building a metro based 700/2.6GHz data only network that will be LTE FDD based, the claim is to reach 60% population coverage via their own network and offer national roaming via Vodafone LTE network.
It is slated to start later this year launching probably in Sydney (the TPG home base is North Ryde) and slowly making it way round.
Being all data IP based also means that you will need a device that has VoLTE ability to access voice services which also means VoLTE if roaming on Vodafone LTE will also be limited.

Well that went for a lot longer than I intended it to.


I am trying to find info on how far the Galaxy MDS network reached as that is what Unwired (when it was independent owned) used as they were using the MDS repeaters, from memory it was very selected regions and did not work (well) while moving as it really was meant to be a point 2 point network not a mobile one.

A friend had Unwired and it was okay when it worked, but by then in the mobile wireless space 3 Mobile via X-Series devices and plans were offering 5GB for $39 with better signal and throughput, circa 2008.

When Seven got control of Unwired the coverage reach was extended however Vividwireless had done a deal with Optus to re-sell Optus 3G as wireless broadband, Seven got out of that market offering by selling to Optus in 2012, by then Optus had started to make the switch from WiMax to LTE and started to roll out its LTE 2.3GHz TDD network and then started to offer Optus Wireless Home broadband with a huge (back then) 50GB for $70., today they co-brand Optus Wireless Home & Vividwirless but limit throughput speeds to 12/1.


yep, the CDMA network was extended till April 28 2008.

what regional people should of been told is that when Telstra started NextG that it was operating at 1/2 the spectrum usage so if they had 20MHz paired then CDMA was halved to 10MHz and NextG (3G850) used the other half 10MHz, the problem was that CDMA air interface system was better at cell-breathing than WB-CDMA version was which caused shrinkage which is why even till the very end CDMA even though it was on less total base stations (designed that way by Telstra) was still have better signal reach in country areas.

Once Telstra 3G850 was standalone (so from April 29) things got much better for NextG as it was a full 20MHz paired dual channel set up that the issues with cell breathing sort of went away and Telstra was able to extend reach by installing it on more base stations.

lol today the farmers are crying about poor NBN Co fixed wireless and that Telstra LTE is too expensive, but hey that is how it is in the IP world.


Yes in many places and in many network bands, but the primary being 800/1900 (two bands we don’t use here for mobile services), however the world has moved onto LTE and soon 5G (with the exception of China) and as such CDMA development stopped a long time ago, its now considered a legacy network but the US networks still use it due to FCC regulations and the fact that spectrum in the US is very limited.

If Telstra had kept CDMA going and not started NextG (3G850) it would of been able to offer the same range of smartphones they offer while also offering LTE over the same handsets.

But it was not meant to be and fortunate for consumers you can now buy handsets outright and move around mobile networks as nearly every handset works for every network, which is a good thing as form what you have read or skimmed through above it was a huge mess in the early 90’s through to about 2014 in terms of mobiles and mobile networks and that also applies to mobile wireless.

Now on the fixed wired side … nah just kidding who wants to read about that?

Optus Visi… STOP.


I signed up to Vividwireless in 2013 after having extremely poor experiences with ADSL in my area (3 years after moving in, my speeds dropped from 10Mbps to 3Mbps).

From what I remember, the WiMax service was great most of the time (a solid 12Mbps) but a bit variable during peaks, and the price was actually quite reasonable compared to the Telstra plan we were on (unlimited data for $79/mth).

Then we got switched to LTE and that’s been even more reliable than WiMax. I think it’s slowed down slightly during peaks since more customers have come online to the 2100MHz network but it’s still quite good.

I’ll probably stick with them until I get NBN in my area, unless another fixed wireless provider comes along and sets up in Sydney (when pigs fly!).