Tuesday, 31 January 2012 16:19

West Australia to get 113 new Next G mobile sites

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West Australia - it's one of the biggest single states on the planet, and in what will surely be welcome news for its citizens (some of whom are still annoyed at the CDMA network's demise), Telstra has won a contract which will see the Next G network nicely expanded.


Telstra's CDMA network was, at the time, an excellent solution for regional users that delivered a nice, big rural and regional footprint.

When Telstra upgraded to Next G, and then closed down the CDMA network, there were legitimate cries of angst as some previously covered CDMA networks failed to see Next G coverage take its place.

Obviously, it depended on where you lived, how far away you were from a specific tower and more, but I certainly remember hearing complaints from Telstra customers when, on more than one occasion, I gave keynote speeches to WA audiences at conferences on the wonders of modern technology.

So, I was very happy to read earlier today of Telstra winning the contact for the 'Regional Mobile Communication Project', or RMCP, which promises a 'significant expansion to Western Australia's regional mobile phone coverage', as it will clearly improve mobile communications in Australia's most ginormously massive state.

Telstra's press release notes that the WA Government is investing AUD $39.2 million dollars, delivered via the 'Royalties for Regions' program, and in return, Telstra says it will 'deliver a total return of $106million in value to Western Australia, made up of both direct capital expenditure and access rights to Telstra's infrastructure'.

Ultimately, Telstra says this means '113 new mobile sites to bring increased coverage to regional and remote areas of the state.'

Telstra also says its Next G network 'will increase its geographic coverage by about 22 per cent in WA - from 430,000 km2 to more than 525,000 km2'.

Thankfully, construction of the 'first sites' is already underway, but sadly, while the project won't happen overnight, it will happen, with completion due 'over the next three years'.

And, once the RMCP project is complete, Telstra says that 'more than 8300km of the state's highways will have near-continuous car-kit coverage, improving mobile phone coverage along all the major highways throughout regional, rural and remote Western Australia.'

Concluded on page two, please read on!


Telstra's Regional Sales and Service Director of the Central West, Richard Fink, said the company 'was delighted to win the contract, which was open to competitive bid', and added that 'Western Australians in regional communities throughout the state will benefit from improved coverage in more areas thanks to this initiative.

'Keeping people connected is a vision both Telstra and the State Government share and Telstra looks forward to providing a network that will benefit not just individuals but also business, government, indigenous communities and emergency services in WA.

'This expansion of the Telstra mobile network will provide the communications backbone for the economic and social development of Western Australia for years to come'
, concluded Mr Fink.

Mr Fink said the benefits for the state were enormous and included:

- Increased geographical and highway coverage of mobile voice and wireless broadband telecommunications infrastructure

- Enhanced voice and data services to targeted regional and rural areas

- The support of economic benefits to regional Western Australia through an expansive, advanced and integrated voice, video and high speed mobile broadband network

- Improvements to emergency services organisations' capabilities for both government and non-government organisations

- Provision of services which may be used to improve delivery of health and education services to remote indigenous communities and regional Western Australia.


The Regional Mobile Communications Project, funded by the State Government's Royalties for Regions Program, is administered by the Western Australian Department of Commerce with the assistance of the Department of Regional Development and Lands.



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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