Optus to spend $1bn on regional coverage

Dunsborough, Gracetown and Monkey Mia will be among a number of locations around regional Australia that can expect better mobile coverage after Optus today confirmed plans to spend $1 billion to improve its network.  

Dunsborough, Gracetown and Monkey Mia will be among a number of locations around regional Australia that can expect better mobile coverage after Optus today confirmed plans to spend $1 billion to improve its network.   

Other Western Australian towns set to beenfit include Quindalup, Learmonth, Kendenup and Broadwater.

The country's second largest telco said it would build 500 new mobile sites across regional and remote parts of Australia, including 114 sites under the federal government's Mobile Blackspots Progam.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said the investment, to be made by the end of June 2018, will improve network performance for residents, businesses and wholesale partners and build resilience to support emergency services during natural disasters.

"Regional communities rely on a strong mobile network to support their key industries and to deliver critical services like health care and education," Mr Lew said in a statement. 

"Optus will help propel regional businesses into national and international markets by providing network reliability, high-speed connectivity and advanced technologies such as cloud and cyber security services that industries need to thrive and grow."

The Singtel-owned telco said it would also upgrade almost 2,000 sites from 3G to 4G and add additional 4G capacity to more than 200 sites.

In addition, it will continue to roll out its satellite small cell technology, which provides mobile voice and data services to remote areas, building on Optus’s existing rollout of 30 small cell sites across regional WA, South Australia and the Northern Territory; 

Tamworth and the surrounding NSW area, will receive $4.5 million to build 16 new sites, Optus said. 

"I look forward to working with them and other telcos to improve local mobile coverage," Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, the member for New England, said. 

In May, Optus flagged a total $1.5 billion investment to improve mobile coverage, mainly in regional Australia, after the competition watchdog decided not to change rules governing what mobile operators can charge rivals to access their networks.

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