Parts of Port Stephens have been upgraded to 5G [fifth generation] technology as part of Telstra's ongoing mobile phone reception rollout across regional areas.
Telstra regional general manager Mike Marom said that the roll out had included the townships of Medowie and Raymond Terrace, but could not provide a timeline for an upgrade in both the Tomaree and Tilligerry peninsulas.
"The roll out is a gradual process and the challenge for Telstra is to continue an aggressive schedule to upgrade mobile tower infrastructure to meet 5G demand," Mr Marom said.
In addition to benefiting customers with 5G devices in those western areas of Port Stephens, the tower upgrade would also benefit customers with 4G devices in the vicinity of 5G coverage.
"5G builds on the foundation of 4G with innovative new technologies, base station upgrades, and greater access to spectrum bandwidth," Mr Marom said.
"It's really exciting that parts of Port Stephens are among the first places in Australia, indeed the world, to have access to 5G connectivity. Telstra has been leading the way in pioneering 5G technology with a number of world and Australian firsts - and making 5G technology available to local consumers."
Mr Marom said that Telstra customers in Port Stephens had the opportunity to be part of that cutting edge technology and join neighbouring local government areas of Maitland and Newcastle in the initial roll out.
Asked about coastal areas of Port Stephens awaiting Telstra phone tower upgrades, Mr Marom said that Fern Bay was currently serviced by 3, 4G and 4GX via the existing Fern Bay base station.
"We don't have a plan for a new base station in the area, but we are reviewing a capacity upgrade for this facility. We will provide further information as we get closer to a date for any work," he said.
With respect to Boat Harbour/Fishermans Bay, he said the site was providing the area with limited mobile coverage through 4G technology due to limited power supply.
"We do understand this is not ideal and are working with the relevant power authorities to complete an upgrade to the site and once finalised the site will run to full 4G/GX network capacity."
Mr Marom said that 2G had introduced phone users to SMS and picture messaging; 3G was all about mobile internet; 4G made streaming and sharing part of everyday life; while 5G was the next leap forward in mobile network technology.
"Downloads that take seconds, not minutes, seamless streaming, real-time gaming and a future where devices are interconnected and immersive experiences are the norm," he said.