LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE ASIA CONGRESS 2011: Telstra CEO David Thodey told Congress this morning that the firm was building “two very different” LTE networks at its operations in Australia and Hong Kong. Unlike in densely populated Hong Kong – where Telstra launched LTE a year ago via its CSL subsidiary – Thodey said that in Australia it is building out a “wedding cake network architecture” with LTE deployed in urban areas and falling onto slower networks in more rural areas.
Usage trends are also different between the two markets. Thodey said that data growth is currently rising by 400 percent a year in Hong Kong but by “only” 200 percent in Australia; he said that Hong Kong users were consuming 2GB of data per month on average compared to 200MB per month in Australia.
In Australia, Thodey said that Telstra was also experimenting with data roaming in order to “deliver a better experience at a lower cost.”
“We have been able to drive down costs with LTE, as it is cheaper per megabyte,” he said. “Plus, a good network drives differentiation and makes devices work better.”
He said that Australia is now the fourth most highly-penetrated smartphone market in the world, behind only the Scandinavian countries.