Optus Networks acting managing director, Dennis Wong says the small cells will be located at selected locations across South Australia and the Northern Territory and will boost mobile coverage for locals and travellers across remote but significant locations.
Wong says the small units, known as "small cells", provide the potential for an inexpensive and flexible alternative to traditional mobile towers, and when used in conjunction with satellite connectivity and backhaul, provides the combined benefits of expanding mobile broadband coverage in a concentrated local area in rural, remote and previously unserviced locations.
“We are investing significantly to strengthen and broaden our mobile network coverage in regional areas, and this rollout is a natural progression following the small cell infrastructure that was successfully delivered in the Northern Territory earlier this year,” Wong said.
The small cells deliver mobile phone coverage up to a three-kilometre radius, depending on the surrounding topography.
“Optus is well established as a provider of satellite networking technology, and we are continuing to expand and innovate to provide mobile and satellite solutions for our customers across the country,” Wong said.
The investment by Optus follows the federal government’s Mobile Black Spots Programme announcement of funding for Round 2, which saw Optus responsible for building 15 sites across South Australia and 13 sites in the Northern Territory to address mobile black spots.
South Australia satellite small cell locations are:
• Cadney Park
• Dalhousie Springs
• Mt Dare hotel
• Wilpena Pound
And, the Northern Territory satellite small cell locations are:
• Mt Ebenezer Roadhouse
• Ross River Homestead
• Simpsons Gap Visitor Centre
• Glen Helen Homestead.