Originally Posted by Morn
Australia is a country of similar size to the USA, with only 22 million people. Population density is lower, hence the cost to provide rural coverage is higher
Excellent post, @Morn. More considered than my late-night response to @Samab's uninformed pyrotechnics.
The issue of population density needs refinement. The issue for Australia is not population density for the entire continent (although you are of course right to point out that servicing rural/remote regions of Australia is expensive) but more the fact that roughly 90% of the Australian population lives in cities.
@Samab points out that
Originally Posted by samab
...the biggest 5 cities in Canada totalled 45% of Canada's population.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 90% of the Australian population lives in metropolitan/urban regions. This may feel counter-intuitive to those whose impressions of Australia have been defined my images of the outback, deserts and wilderness, but in terms of population distribution, Australia has one of the most urbanised populations in the world — twice as urbanised as Canada, for instance.
So, the fundamental quantitative fact is that the penetration of 3G services to the majority of the Australian population is far greater in comparison with most, if not all, other developed nations, due to the fact that the percentge of urbanisation (not population density across the continent) is far higher. Of course there will be local variations... Manhattan has a much higher poulation desnsity [25,000 per sq km] than, for instance, Sydney [2,800 per sq km, similar to San Francisco or Seattle] but overall Australia is even more urbanised than the USA (90% vs 80% respectively)
Additionally, given that Australia is so highly urbanised, far more of the total population receives far better 3G penetration. The technological superiority (in comparison to, say, AT & T) of the Telstra network (not accurately described by Wire) means that the experience of the 3G network by most Australians is significantly better than that experienced by North Americans.
The Australian media continues to report that on the whole Australian users of the new iPhone 4 are NOT EXPERIENCING THE DEATH GRIP! If they are are, it tends to be in the relatively few areas of poor reception.... one might therefore infer that the Death Grip as it it experienced in North America is more an issue with network quality, and NOT a significant hardware fault with the phone.
[PS — I am not a Telstra person, by the way. I am just a punter and I actually use a different carrier. But I am aware of how good the Telstra network is by international standards]