Australian mobile communications is quite an interesting topic, because there are not quite a lot of populated areas within the country and it determines the special conditions of its development in Australia. As you know, Australia lies on the separate continent and the most densely populated areas are concentrated at the ocean shores.
We'll begin with the fact that only three mobile carriers in Australia use their own cellular network, others are the so called MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Provider), which means that they are using networks of other mobile carriers. So now we will describe those three major mobile carriers.
Probably the biggest and the oldest mobile service provider in Australia is Telestra. The company was started in 1975 and it was a state's property once. But between 1999-2006 it has been sold. That company has created the biggest part of the whole Australian cellular network and landlines system.
The headquarter of Telestra Mobile is situated in Melbourne and the company provides a wide variety of services. They provide mobile communications based on GSM 900/1800 MHz standard, 3G UMTS, which uses 850/2100 MHz is widely spread too. Also we should mention that Telestra Mobile started to build a 4G network, based on LTE standard, which uses 875 Mhz. They say that this mobile carrier has the best coverage and the best service, but it also has the highest prices. It is also popular because it was the first to provide a 4G LTE service, it is already available in the major cities.
The second among the biggest mobile carriers of Australia is Optus. The company was created in 1981. Now that company belongs to Singapore Telecommunications. The company also provides 2G service based on GSM 900/1800 MHz, 900/2100 MHz for 3G and it also builds its 4G network, but it is still not as widely spread as Telestra's. The 4G service is available since April 2012.
They have a decent coverage quality. But here we should mention that main problem of all Australian carriers – poor indoor coverage, sometimes your mobile phone may appear to be out of service, when you enter a building. The reason for this is in the fact that many Australians don't want a cell tower to be built somewhere near their houses, but sometimes it may be necessary.
And the third place goes to pretty famous company – Vodafone. This company belongs to Vodafone and Hutchinson Telecom 50/50. And it is known in Australia as Vodafone Hutchinson or VHA. VHA has pretty poor coverage, a small quantity of clients but low prices as well. They provide GSM 900/1800 MHz service, as well as 3G, based on UMTS and HSDPA standards with 850/900/2100 MHz frequencies. They do not provide LTE services, but they plan to start that in the beginning of 2013.
In general, situation with mobile communications in Australia is pretty bright. They develop really fast, but lots of users complain that prices sometimes are really complicated and hard to understand for a user. But they major mobile carriers also have special bonuses for loyal clients. So we may say that there are various mobile providers in Australia, they compete with each other and that gives benefits for their users!