Mobile connectivity speeds in Australia continue to rank among the best in the world. In fact, when compared to the rest of the globe, Australia’s mobile download speeds were more than double the global average (34.1 Mbps vs. 16.6 Mbps).1
These network performance numbers come as a direct result of a solid cellular network infrastructure. Still, improvements are on the horizon because of base station expansion efforts driven by programs such as the Mobile Black Spot Program—which aims to provide all Australians with access to stable and reliable internet connectivity.
Starting in 2015, an Australian government and private sector coalition has been rolling out significant upgrades to the network infrastructure via new mobile base station installations. Over the next three years, companies such as Telstra, Vodafone, and Optus will install approximately 765 base stations across Australia, expanding network coverage and improving network reliability for end users.2
What are Mobile Base Stations and How do They Work?
A wireless phone base station is essentially the “brains” of a cell site.
When you look at a traditional cell tower, you will notice a few things: first, an array of antennas pointing in various directions near the top. These are the mediums by which mobile transmissions are conducted; however, these transmissions do not occur on their own.
If you look closer at the cell tower, you’ll notice something else: near the base of most cell towers is a small shed, and inside this shed is typically where you’ll find the cell site’s base station.
A cell phone base station is responsible for sending/receiving transmissions through the site’s antennas using powerful transmission amplifying equipment.
A simple analogy would be the old wireless phones we used to have in our homes. These early wireless devices typically came in two parts: a transmitter (the phone itself), and a base of some sort where you would place the phone after you were done with your call. These bases were essentially a “mini-base station”, and like the mobile base stations we’ve been discussing, they were responsible for powering the actual sending and receiving of data through the air.
Additionally, because cell sites vary in size and capacity, base stations and base station antennas also come in various configurations.
Below is a breakdown of the different types of cell sites where base stations are typically deployed.
Macrocells, like traditional cell towers, are the largest cell type and they provide the greatest range of coverage in a mobile phone network.
Since they provide the most cell coverage, Macrocells typically take up the most space compared to other cell types, which restricts their ability to be implemented in a wide variety of locations.
Because of their space requirements, Macrocells are typically found in places such as rural communities and alongside long stretches of highway, where land availability doesn’t come at a premium.
This isn’t to say that Macrocells can’t be found in more densely populated, urban areas, because you can certainly find them if you look hard enough; however, other cell types, such as small cells, are becoming the preferred choice due to their efficient use of space and their ability to be deployed in a near limitless number of scenarios (provided the required backhaul is in place to support them).
As the name implies, small cells are a type of cell site that are much smaller, consume less power, and cover a much smaller area compared to macrocells.
Of the different types of small cells, Microcells, Picocells, and Femtocells are some of the more popular variations.
Microcells are the largest of the small cell types, offering a range of up to 500 meters, and supporting a few hundred mobile users at a time.
Picocells are a smaller version of a microcell and have a range of just 100 meters or less.
Because of their size and limited capacity for users, picocells are typically deployed in small indoor areas, such as shopping malls, or even on airplanes.3
Femtocells are one of the smallest types of network expanding devices on the market and can be used at home or in an office to provide mobile connectivity.
Since femtocells can only support a handful of users at once, and within a limited range (less than 30 meters), femtocells are typically deployed in an array to create network coverage, which helps increase the stability and performance of the internet connection.4
5G and the Future of Mobile Connectivity
With a revamped cellular infrastructure, Australia is poised to become a leader in 5G wireless connectivity.
While 5G standards are still being debated, one thing is for sure: 5G will be fast.
As it stands now, 4G LTE base stations can offer users transfer speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. However, a mobile device on a 5G network will be able to achieve download speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second.5
This speed will allow for latency free communication between mobile devices and it will also bring numerous high-speed internet services to market, such as on-the-go 4k movie streaming, augmented reality applications, and new and exciting social media services which will connect users in ways they never thought possible.
As such, mobile phone base stations will likely continue to play an integral role in the expansion of network connectivity in Australia for years to come.
What LDC Infrastructure Can Do for You
As one of Australia’s leading rental rights and ground lease acquisition companies, we can help you unlock the true value of your ground lease agreement.
Whether it’s a ground lease used for the construction of a cell tower or a “carrier hotel”, we can offer you a large, lump-sum payment for the entire value of your lease.
This lump sum can provide you with the financial flexibility to make a new property investment, pay off debt, go back to school, or even retire early.
Even if you’re not interested in selling your ground lease to us, we can still provide you with a no-obligation analysis and valuation of your lease agreement as long as your site meets our criteria.
Please call us at 1300 149 499 or click here to submit your information so that we may contact you.