19 Sep 2014

Telstra Start Digital Dividend EARLY!

UPDATED 3.52PM: Telstra advised us that they ran an advert in CX during September, alerting the industry to wireless trials ‘in a number of locations’. Allied with previous communications, this was understood to be the six regional trails referred to in today’s story, not trials within SYDNEY. As the advert shows, the web page ‘will be updated as we commence trails in new areas’, and specifically: ‘there will be no impact on existing users’.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 3.50.07 PM

TODAY’S STORY: Because they can, Telstra has started 700 MHZ mobile phone transmissions in Sydney TODAY (Friday 19 Sept, 2014) instead of next year. Without telling the audio industry. (See UPDATE at bottom).

Shure Microflex Wireless_System_Group (261x195)
Telstra and Optus had been running trials of 4G services on the 700 MHz spectrum since July – in six locations including Perth, Fremantle, Esperance, Mildura, Mt Isa and Griffith.


As of today Telstra are running ‘additional test sites’ in more than 20 additional metropolitan and regional centres including Sydney, Adelaide, Darwin, Bundaberg, Yamba and Sarina. This is for commercial gain, as they seek advantage over Optus at the roll out of iPhone 6.

The roll out has caught major venues by surprise, and all users are advised to carefully monitor all 700MHZ systems from now.

Do you know more? Email.


Sennheiser Australia have this afternoon urged industry people to complain. “The rules around this “early access” state that they are NOT to interfere with existing 700 MHz services, i.e. wireless audio systems, so please get on the phone to the number at the web site, 1800 553 459, and make your case for why Telstra should NOT be using 700 MHz in your area, now”, they say.

Steve Caldwell says the tests must be between midnight and 7am:


and here is the RALI licence…

I have it on reasonably good authority (both Telstra and the ACMA) that the initial testing will only occur between midnight and 7am. I am currently engaged by the Sydney Opera House to perform tests, alongside Telstra, into the impact of the early tests upon radio mic and IEM systems. Starting tonight in fact.

The early licence that ACMA have awarded Telstra the RALI MS36 clearly states that testing may be performed, but not at the cost of current class licence users (radio mics, etc.). Telstra have also released documents showing their test procedures, including the measures used to minimise the impact on class licence users.

Michael Elphinstone says:

You might want to check out these links regarding Telstra’s 700Mhz testing. The expansion of the trials has been publicised in IT circles, but certainly not well discussed in the AV world. I’m fortunate that my role covers managing IT and Audio, so I need to keep abreast of both worlds. Having seen the confusion regarding IT amongst some audio colleagues, and the fear of AV amongst IT people, in today’s corporate and education markets I believe it’s very important for both sides to be more aware of the convergence of the two spheres.

Also, Whirlpool offers a selection of links to “geek news” stories that occasionally have some impact on the AV world.

I also know that Optus have been expanding their 700Mhz testing in places like Bendigo, but that’s been going on for some time.


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