Vodafone begins upgrade, plans LTE services
Vodafone Australia will begin a national network upgrade programme on 19 April and also announced it will begin offering LTE services this year. The upgrade programme will start in the Central Coast, Newcastle, and Hunter region with five sites. Vodafone will conduct all work in a series of stages scheduled for the early hours of the morning at 44 sites and expects to complete the installation phase of the project by 3 May. The operator will then spend the next six weeks drive-testing and tuning the network. Vodafone has prioritised its national 2G and 3G radio access network (RAN) replacement project at all base stations throughout Australia with engineers targeting the highest demand sites first. The company will replace and install radio equipment at around 8,000 sites over the next 18 months. Vodafone will replace around 5,800 existing 2G and 3G base station sites with Huawei’s SingleRAN solution and also install the new Huawei network equipment at more than 2,200 new base station sites that it will bring into its network over the next 18 months. Huawei’s SingleRAN solution will enable Vodafone to upgrade to 4G or LTE quickly, with the first LTE next generation services expected to come online later this year.