Vodafone Network Plans Promise Speed, Spell End For 3

Vodafone Hutchison Australia has outlined plans that will see it expand its network coverage and speed, and merge together its Vodafone network assets with those of 3. That should mean better network performance and fewer confusing plans, but the changes won't happen for a while.

VHA's plans include 900 new urban and 500 new regional sites for its existing 3G network, and 1,500 new 850MHz network sites aimed at broadband users. It is also trialling other technologies, including femto cells and LTE, to improve its performance. The network merger has been an expected event ever since Vodafone and 3 merged.

From a customer point of view, most of those changes won't be seen for quite a while, as the network expansion won't happen until 2011. Vodafone and 3 have already standardised pricing across a fair number of their products, allowed some free calls between customers on each network and have begun selling jointly through their stores.

The other important date to note is 2012, when 3 and Telstra will stop their joint network sharing agreement. We've always recommended against 3's mobile broadband because of the expensive roaming charges associated with jumping onto the Telstra network, but if you are a customer, now is as good a time as any to start thinking about alternatives.


Comments

    Currently with 3, I spend 90% of my time in 3's covered 3G area in Melbourne, but what bugs me the most is lack of reception in my building and in building in general. Plus even in the city I can't stream music without it stopping every minute. Super annoying.

    These 850 towers from Voda i'm sure will improve things.. but it won't be soon enough my contract with 3 ends this month and Telstra's double data special ends at end of October...

    Looking forward to NextG.

    The most annoying thing is that the plans are not inter-changeable. I am at the end of my 3 contract, but can have the remainder month waived. However, if changing to Vodafone, it'd cost money.

    Either way, the plans they seem to have are the most expensive, even Telstra seem somewhat cheaper at 40c per 30sec. and 3 at 90c per min. Not only that, the phones they seem to offer on the $49cap are not any better than Telstra

    I think this might be too little, too late.

    I work in the Docklands, and travel to work on a major suburban train line.

    I have not found anywhere in my building where I can get more than three bars of reception, and in some parts can't get any. At my desk I get no more than one bar of reception, and frequently lose 3G or reception all together.

    On the train to work, reception drops out in at least 4 places for several minutes, and data speed is noticeably slower (to the point of unusable) the closer I get to the city, regardless of reception.

    To top things off, I'm now losing reception at times at home, when previous I had solid reception all the time.

    I've been a Telstra hater for a long time, but Vodafone has become continually worse over the last 12 months, while Telstra have been significantly reducing prices. This weekend I'll be jumping ship.

    Vodofone is going to have 850mhz as well as 900mhz.. Only phone i know that does both of those bands in the iphone 4.. does anyone else know of other phones that can use both of those low frequency 3g bands.. Normally they are released to be exclusive either way.. Handy if you want to jump from telstra to someone else and back again for network converage improvement

      Nokia N8 can use both. So I'm guessing possibly other new Nokia phones can too.

    I've long been a Vodafone fan, especially back in the day when Optus couldn't send a correct bill in a 2 year contract. Increasingly though I am becoming very disenfranchised with Vodafone and their coverage/speed. Go to Kellyville, Beaumont Hills and Rouse Hill, 3 large and developed suburbs north west Sydney. Fat chance of getting a signal at all on Voda. I know their retail store at Rouse Hill struggles to sell a contract. If work wasn't paying my bill I would be over to Telstra tomorrow.

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