News: Australian telecoms operator Telstra has revealed plans to expand its 4G LTE coverage to an additional 200 regional towns in Australia over the next six months. The expansion programme will enable the operator to enhance its coverage to 85% by end-2013, up from the current 66%, according to Telstra's Chief Operations Officer Brendon Riley. The operator, which has already deployed more than 2,000 LTE-compatible base stations across the country, intends to have another 1,500 base stations upgraded to be compatible with 4G technology by end-2013.
BMI View: The expansion plan is expected to help the operator cater to the rising demand for 4G services in Australia. BMI estimates that there will be 24.26mn 3G/4G subscribers in 2013 and expects the total to rise 8.75% by 2017 to 26.38mn. During this period the 3G/4G mobile penetration will rise from 76.9% to 79.5%.