The new site is located in Kilmore East, along the line that connects Seymour and Melbourne, and is expected to be switched on on 30 June.
Vodafone has also started building a new site at Harcourt, on the Bendigo rail line, with the site marking the official half-way point for sites to be delivered by the telco under the RCCP.
Vodafone chief technology officer Kevin Millroy said that with regional commuter numbers on the rise, the Victorian Government had taken an “ideal approach” to increasing network coverage and choice for its constituents.
“The project perfectly demonstrates the benefits of a strategy that favours infrastructure sharing – leaving behind the all-too-familiar approach of awarding funding to one dominant carrier, and putting the best interests of consumers at the forefront.
“Trips taken by V/Line customers increased by 9.2% in just one year, with patronage on the Seymour line increasing by 7.2% over the last four years. The sites being built by Vodafone under the RRCP, including our first live site at Kilmore East, will help boost mobile coverage and capacity for Vodafone’s customers travelling along the Seymour line, while creating opportunities for other carriers to do the same for their customers.”
Vodafone says it will lead the construction on 11 new mobile sites and install its equipment on an additional 12 sites being built as part of the RRCP project.
And the telco says the new sites will help supercharge Vodafone’s mobile network along train lines to Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and Traralgon, expanding on the significant network investment already made by Vodafone in Victoria.
“We have continued to work to expand and strengthen Vodafone’s mobile network in Victoria over the years, investing more than $130 million in our network across Victoria, adding more than 150 new sites and upgrading more than 1000 existing sites between 2015 and 2017,” Millroy said.
“The Victorian Government’s approach for the Regional Rail Project is one that Vodafone believes should be held up as best practice for future co-investment projects. It is a great demonstration of how all three carriers can work together in the best interests of consumers.”
Victorian Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis, said he was proud of the investment his government has made in regional connectivity and proud of the RRCP.
“This project shows just how much can be achieved when government works with all three major telcos – it’s going to give consumer choice and quality mobile coverage to those who travel along our five busiest rail lines.”