Vodafone has announced a plan to convert part of its spectrum currently used to service its 3G network to increase its 4G capacity across New South Wales (NSW).
The changes, which will start on 18 March, will see the telecommunications provider convert its 2100MHz spectrum to serve the 4G network, while maintaining its 900MHz spectrum serving its 3G customers.
"Our customers are using more and more data. More than 90 per cent of our mobile customers use the 4G network with 4G data usage across our network increased by 58 per cent during 2018," Vodafone CTO Kevin Millroy said.
"This upgrade work will ensure the 4G network gets a capacity boost, so more of our customers can use their data to stream their favourite content or use social media, while still keeping our 3G network strong."
Vodafone warned customers that devices compatible only with 3G 2100MHz spectrum will no longer work after the upgrade is complete.
The telco plans to do this across all states which will see 90 per cent of all Vodafone customers having access to "better service".
The conversion has already taken place in the Australian Capital Territory, after NSW Vodafone plans to upgrade Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia to follow throughout 2019.
"We have a huge range of mobile devices and offers that our customers can choose from," Millroy said. "Upgrading from the 3G network brings a wealth of new opportunity, faster speeds and exciting phone features."
In December 2018, a TPG-Vodafone joint venture (Mobile JV) paid $263 million for 131 lots in the 3.6 MHz spectrum, to be used for the delivery of 5G services in Australia.
Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (VHA) reported a loss of $124 million for the full year ended 31 December 2018, which is a 30 per cent improvement from last year's $178 million loss.
VHA attributed the result to historical losses from the network and ongoing significant capital and spectrum costs.
In August 2018, Vodafone and TPG Telecom confirmed plans to merge in Australia, with the combined entity set to create a $15 billion “challenger” in the market.