Optus is boosting its investment in regional mobile phone coverage, announcing plans for the installation of satellite small cells across six different locations in South Australia and five locations in the Northern Territory.
Optus is installing nine satellite small cells along almost 2000km of highway across Western Australia which the telco says provide the potential for an inexpensive and flexible alternative to traditional mobile towers.
Australia’s second largest telco Optus has secured funding to build 114 new mobile sites as part of the federal government’s mobile blackspot programme aimed at improving mobile coverage across regional and rural Australia.
Telstra says more residents and businesses visitors in rural and regional Australia will soon benefit from its expanded mobile coverage, including superfast mobile broadband, under round two of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).
Optus is boosting mobile coverage for locals and travellers across 12 remote locations in the Northern Territory with the introduction of cells that provide mobile coverage through its satellites.
Vodafone has alleviated more mobile phone blackspots with the completion of a new mobile base station at Invergowrie near Armidale in north-west NSW to deliver increased coverage to mobile users in the region.
The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised a re-elected Coalition government would allocate $60 million in funding to the national mobile blackspot program.
Mobile phone coverage in rural areas is patchy at best. Vodafone has announced twelve more areas will soon be added to its coverage.
The first communities to benefits from ‘improved mobile coverage’ under the ‘Mobile Black Spot Programme’ are Cheepie and Marlborough in QLD and Deniliquin in NSW.
A review of the adequacy of telecommunications services in regional Australia has made a dozen recommendations to improve mobile coverage, maximise benefits from the NBN rollout and develop consumer safeguards.
ACCAN, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, has launched its Community Consultation Guide, designed to ‘help communities address issues with mobile coverage in their areas.’
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) received 36,256 new complaints in the first quarter of the year. That is less than last year, but complaints about excess data charges have increased significantly.
The Government has released its response to the 2011–12 Regional Telecommunications Review, 'Empowering Digital Communities' tabled on 23 May, but has failed to respond positively to the major concerns uncovered by the review: mobile coverage and mobile broadband in particular.
It's coverage o'clock and all's femtocwell, or at least soon should be for Australian consumers, as Optus is first to finally brings the femtocell to trial in Australia on parts of its mobile network after big femtocell deployments overseas on various telcos.
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