Tuesday, 24 January 2017 11:07

Optus lifts regional mobile coverage through small cell connections Featured

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Optus lifts regional mobile coverage through small cell connections Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 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.

“We’ve seen that this technology delivers a choice in mobile services for workers and residents in and around key locations, as well as providing for visitors, making it a vital improvement to our network in remote regions.”

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

•    Marla

•    Dalhousie Springs

•    Mt Dare hotel

•    Wilpena Pound

•    Maralinga

And, the Northern Territory satellite small cell locations are:

•    Kulgera

•    Mt Ebenezer Roadhouse

•    Ross River Homestead

•    Simpsons Gap Visitor Centre

•    Glen Helen Homestead.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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