Telstra Completes Major Network Upgrade for King Island

Telstra completes network upgrade, bringing connectivity to King Island with a tenfold capacity boost and world-first over-water microwave link.


  • Telstra and Ericsson announce completion of major network upgrade for King Island.
  • Upgrade includes world-first over-water microwave link, delivering tenfold capacity boost.
  • Deployment of Long-haul Microwave technology supports island's transition to 5G.

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Telstra Completes Major Network Upgrade for King Island
Australian telecom operator Telstra announced the completion of a major network upgrade to King Island's mobile network infrastructure, providing a significant boost in connectivity. This upgrade, done in partnership with Ericsson and claimed by Telstra to be a world-first, will bring close to a tenfold capacity boost for the island's community with the launch of an over-water microwave telecommunications link with a throughput capacity of 9.8 Gbps and 99.99 percent availability.

Also Read: Telstra Achieves 340 Mbps Uplink Speed Over 5G SA; Deploys Dynamic Network Slicing Solution

World-First Over-Water Link

Telstra stated that the upgrade involves a 116km microwave link deployed across the Bass Strait from the Australian mainland to King Island's Cape Wickham — the longest over-water link of its kind in Telstra's national mobile network. With this achievement, Telstra claimed to have achieved the world's longest 10 Gbps microwave link with Ericsson.

Essential Backhaul Support for 5G

This upgrade, featuring the deployment of Long-haul Microwave technology, provides essential backhaul support for the deployment of 5G on the island, further helping Telstra in expanding its network and delivering better connectivity for regional Australia.

Joint Investment for Regional Connectivity

With this deployment, consumers and users on King Island will benefit from increased mobile coverage, efficiency, capacity, and data speeds, along with greater network resilience, according to Telstra.

This project, part of the Regional Connectivity Program, was funded through a joint investment of AUD 9.8 million by the Australian Government, Telstra, the Tasmanian Government, and the King Island Council. It was announced in 2021 to deliver infrastructure to rural and regional communities.

Also Read: Telstra and Eutelsat OneWeb Launch Largest Rollout of LEO Backhaul in Australia

Benefits for King Island Residents

"Improving the capacity of backhaul connectivity to our sites, particularly in challenging extremities of our network is always a key focus. Delivering greater mobile connectivity and network capacity to King Island is just the latest step in our commitment to improve our options for our consumer, small business and enterprise customers living or working across the country," Telstra said.

At the time of the project announcement in 2021, Telstra stated that the project included two new mobile sites built at Naracoopa and Yambacoona, two new small cell sites built at Currie and Grassy, 4GX upgrades at Lymwood, Loorana, and Cape Wickham, 37 km of new fiber optic cable laid on King Island as part of the infrastructure rollout, and a new radio link connecting Cape Wickham to Victoria over the Bass Strait to provide greater resilience.

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