Telstra is ramping up the construction of its 4G network in Australia and says it expects to cover 85 percent of the population by Christmas.

Telstra is ramping up construction of its 4G network in Australia and says it expects to cover 85 percent of the population by Christmas.

In a statement issued on Friday, the company says it plans to extend the network to 200 new towns and regional centres across the country by the end of the year, with a focus of destinations which are popular with holiday makers.

New towns to receive coverage include Batemans Bay (NSW), Colac (VIC), Biloela (QLD), Berri (SA), Margaret River (WA) and Latrobe (TAS).

As at June 30, Telstra 4G service covered 66 percent of the population and it had deployed more than 2000 base stations for the network across major metropolitan and regional areas – numbers is says it wants to increase to 85 percent and 3,500 base stations by Christmas.

The company says it has 20 MHz of continuous spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and 15MHz in Sydney and Melbourne.

Around Australia, network providers are beefing up the rollout of fourth generation (4G) mobile networks, a successor to the third generation (3G) which provide speeds comparable with or in some cases faster than wired connections and which telco providers say will enable easier streaming of music and videos as well as use of applications, social media and email via mobile devices.

Last month, Vodafone announced the launch of its own network, which it claims has demonstrated the fastest currently available speeds (up to 100 Mbps) in Australia.

Optus, meanwhile, currently had 4G available in Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth and the Adelaide CBD.

In addition to the new towns, Telstra says it is expanding coverage in existing regional cities including Newcastle, Wollongong, Bundaberg and Cairns, and is continuing to expand coverage in metropolitan areas.

Perfect Hire (expire April 30 2018)