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Flow Probe - Telstra’s plans to transition from 3G to 4G, what will it mean for regional customers?

Australia’s most prominent telco, Telstra, plans on switching off its 3G network in 2024 in around a year from now.

It should be noted that other mainstream telecommunications companies share similar plans as Telstra, but one could argue that from a regional lens, as far as reliability goes, Telstra carries the largest responsibility to keep customers connected.

Those living in isolated areas such as farmers and other remote workers have made no secret of the fact they have some level of angst in regards to Telstra’s plans considering 4G connectivity can often be difficult to ascertain in regional areas.

Michael Patterson is Telstra’s Regional General Manager for Tasmania and South Australia and he appeared on the Flow FM Country Viewpoint this week, doing his bit to assure listeners that Telstra’s 4G and 5G infrastructure will hold up when 3G is dissolved next year and explaining why 3G will be switched off.

“It's [3G] an older technology and it was designed for both voice and data but the emphasis of being strong reliable voice communication but offering some data…the trend now is watching movies, doing commerce, a whole range of other things on their handsets these days and the 3G network just can't cope with that,” Patterson said.

“Demand's growing by 30% per year and again the 3G network doesn't cope, the 4G network's a better network and the 5G network's a better network and the combination of 4G and 5G are going to be what's going to serve all of Australia, but also regional Australia as well.

“I think that's a really important point - we're in the process of switching off, well, upgrading all of our network so that the 4G network is equivalent to the 3G network.

“In addition to that we're also, when we do switch off the 3G network in June 2024, we're going to switch on the 5G network over that same sort of radio frequency for regional Australia.”


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