Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:34

Remote parts of Northern Territory get mobile coverage for first time Featured

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Optus has switched on two new mobile sites in the Northern Territory as it progresses work on its mobile blackspot program.

The telco says the two-new satellite small cell sites located at Wangi Falls and Florence Falls bring much needed mobile coverage to parts of the Territory for the first time.

The new cells allow visitors to the falls with the ability to make and receive calls - and will also provide coverage for all visitors to make calls to emergency services regardless of their network carrier.

Optus says an additional site will also be delivered close to the Ranger Station in the western part of the Park later this year providing coverage to Walker Creek using 4G and 3G technology.

“It’s wonderful to be able to switch on these two new Mobile Black Spot sites in these remote parts of the Northern Territory, bringing coverage to these amazing tourist areas,” said Andrew Sheridan, Optus Vice President Regulatory and Public Affairs.

“This is such a breathtaking part of Australia and new coverage will play a critical role in providing dedicated coverage for tens of thousands of annual visitors, giving them the ability to check in with friends and family and critically helping to ensure their safety while visiting these picturesque, but remote falls.”

Optus was awarded 25 sites across the Northern Territory as part of the Government’s rounds two and four of its Mobile Black Spot Program.

“With eight new Mobile Black Spot sites already live in the Northern Territory these two sites will play an important role in addressing the need for mobile coverage across the Territory,” Sheridan said.

“We worked closely with the Northern Territory Tourism Board and Parks NT to identify the best location for these sites based on visitor numbers and need and it’s great to see our customers already benefiting from them.”

Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, Mark Coulton said the Government is committed to delivering reliable communications in the regions.

“The Mobile Black Spot Program is changing the lives of rural and regional Australians across the country by providing communities with the phone service they need to stay connected, conduct business and access emergency services, health care and education.”

Minister Coulton said the base stations that are already online have enabled more than 33,000 Triple 0 calls to be made.

“Through the first four rounds of the program, funding has been committed to deliver 1047 new base stations, thanks to more than $760 million in co-investment, bringing new and improved mobile coverage to areas like Wangi Falls and Florence Falls.

“Optus is a valued participant in this program that’s delivering better phone service for more people.”

Optus has so far delivered 85 Mobile Black Spot sites across regional, rural and often remote parts of Australia - with satellite small cells providing a flexible alternative to a traditional mobile tower, using satellite connectivity and backhaul to deliver mobile coverage to a concentrated local area.

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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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