Vodafone has expanded its mobile coverage by adding 128 new mobile sites across the country.
Australia’s third network carrier activated the sites between December and January in various metro and regional areas across all states and the Northern Territory. The expansion is expected to cover an additional 140,000 Australians.
91 of these 128 sites also include 4G services, covering areas in Sydney, Newcastle, Torquay, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Perth.
Residents in Melbourne, Darwin and Hobart also saw “significant” coverage improvements, according to Vodafone CTO Kevin Millroy.
“The new and upgraded sites strengthen our 4G services and help deliver tailored benefits to different areas, such as faster data speeds, smoother music and video streaming, or strong mobile coverage when indoors,” Mr Millroy said.
Mr Millroy said the new sites have given “great” results across the board, citing a 70 per cent increase in data speeds in Torquay, Victoria, and a 30 per cent increase in data usage in Penrith, west of Sydney.
He added: “Vodafone customers enjoying the foreshore areas of Larrakeyah and Fannie Bay in Darwin are experiencing improved voice and data services, particularly indoors and up to a 15 per cent increase in data speeds.”
The network expansion comes after Vodafone announced it will pour $1.3 billion into network and technology infrastructure in 2018, with a focus on 5G mobile coverage.
— Vodafone Australia (@VodafoneAU) February 11, 2018
What telco gives the best mobile coverage?
The three carriers – Vodafone, Optus and Telstra – are not made equal when it comes to their mobile coverage. Each is responsible for building their own cellular towers and funding their own mobile networks. These networks are in turn used by mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to provide their own services.
Traditionally, Telstra has dominated in the network race with often superior coverage in rural and regional areas. However, the other networks are catching up – Optus is expanding its 4G coverage, while Vodafone recently announced it is putting over a billion dollars into its network in 2018. TPG has also started to build its own mobile network.
In Canstar Blue’s latest customer satisfaction survey of customers with a phone on a plan, Telstra was the only provider to get five stars for network coverage. Vodafone and Optus received three stars each. This was the same in the postpaid, SIM-only survey.
Prepaid customers saw things a little different, with Telstra and Optus customers rating their network four stars, while Vodafone again achieved three stars.