Tonight we had a visit from Vodafone,
and a look at their new 4G LTE network.
Elisa, Alan and Robbie took the stage to describe in detail how Vodafone has rebuilt their network and created what looks like the fastest 4G network in Australia.
Elisa Allan and Robbie
Elisa is Corporate Affairs Manager and she spoke briefly about where Vodafone stands in the mobile phone market before introducing Allan and Robbie.
Allan then took the microphone to give us a comprehensive summary of the development of Vodafone’s 4G network.
Allan was responsible for building one of the first data package systems to deliver data over the mobile network in 1990. He outlined the main features of the 4G network, emphasizing how the new frequencies will deliver faster download times and less congestion on the line. As people port over or join the 4G network then the 3G network will also improve as demand on the system drops. One of the interesting observations was that 82 % of people don’t complete a Youtube download. This lead the team to develop a “just in time” protocol to alleviate the demand video places on the network.
Vodafone is building more towers and combining with other networks in regional areas to extend their range, thus creating a more consistent cover - even at the edge of the networks.
Virtually all of the Sydney metropolitan area should get 4G coverage from switch -on in June to July.
So what is 4G?
Here Allan went into a technical description of the band widths. Older networks delivered a 2G network at 8000 MHz that was followed by the 3G network at 8500 or 2100 mhz. Reception on 3G can be temperamental as the 8500 does not penetrate buildings, making reception problematic especially if using an older phone which can not switch from 8500 to 2100 as needed. 4G runs on the 1800 MHz band. The demand on band width for mobile devices is one of the reasons for the switching off of the analogue television band. Here is a great article from Telstra on the difference between 3G, Next G and 4 G.
Robbie then took the stage to speak about what the customer can experct from Vodafone’s 4G network.
As reward for sticking with Vodafone during their network problems, existing customers are being offered the 4G experience first. Robbie spoke about what that experience will mean. Fast speeds for one thing. Robbie described the network testing which deliveries between 70 and 100 mbits per second.
One of the interesting advantages of this speed is voice communication. If both people have phones with High Definition (HD) stereo then the conversation will be delivered in crystal clear HD stereo sound.
Another aspect of the 4G network is more capacity, both on the 4G network and across the entire network as people move from 2G and 3G to 4G.
Currently Vodafone is offering 4G on various plans starting from $30 with Samsung GALAXY Express.
In time, pre-paid and non-Vodafone customers can upgrade.
Check out the deals at Vodafone Wooshka, where you will also find more details on 4G coverage, FAQ, and details on whether you’re 4G ready.
Elisa and her team did us proud with a Sony Expedia 4G phone for the raffle. Alex was able to provide a few goodies to sweeten the pot including some Skype phone rests so you can prop up your phone when watching a video, two phone rests that alternate as a dual ear phones so you can share the audio with a friend and some pads of phone cleaners.
Bruce took home the phone And here are some of our other lucky winners
With Elizabeth taking home the door prize which to save confusion is the gift card not the microphone.