19/10/2004 - 22:00

Optus wins mobile base station deal

19/10/2004 - 22:00

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Optus has secured a multi-million dollar deal with the State Government to provide telecommunications services across Western Australia.

Optus wins mobile base station deal

Optus has secured a multi-million dollar deal with the State Government to provide telecommunications services across Western Australia.

Potentially worth more than $80 million over five years, the deal dilutes Telstra’s stranglehold on telecommunications services in the State.

Under the terms of the contract, Optus will build 94 mobile base stations throughout WA over the next three years.

Optus WA State manager Richard Thorning said Optus expected the first 80 base stations to be built in the next two years, located predominantly in the South West.

He said a further 14 stations were planned for the following year.

Mr Thorning said Optus had started the process before the announcement of the contract by applying for relevant approvals.

The deal represented a welcome movement in State Government policy, he said, which was very positive for improving effective telecommunications competition in the State.

Mr Thorning said the move recognised the key role State government can play in encouraging development and infrastructure investment in WA.

“This is the first time, to our knowledge, that the [State] Government has used its procurement power to aggregate demand and used it to improve telecommunications competition,” he told WA Business News.

“It’s something we’ve been discussing with this Government for a long time and Minister [Clive] Brown in particular has recognised that other States have benefited from taking this approach.

“The Government has a very significant leverage in the marketplace with its current total telecommunications purchases estimated to exceed $100 million dollars a year.

“In this case the Government’s tender process has resulted in the largest ever mobile infrastructure investment by Optus in the State as well as, we understand, large cost savings to agencies and government.

“Whilst this investment has been committed as a result of the Government’s tender, the coverage benefits will obviously flow to all mobile phone users in the community.”

State Development Minister Clive Brown said the base stations were expected to be in the Goldfields, Wheatbelt, Great Southern, South West, Peel and outer metropolitan areas.

“This supports State Government policy ... which advocates a competitive telecommunications market to bring benefits to business and the community,” he said.

 

WA Government Preferred Tenderers

 

Category:  GSM network services

Preferred Tenderers: Optus Networks Pty Ltd,  Vodafone Pty Ltd 

Category: CDMA network services        

Preferred Tenderers: Telstra Corporation Ltd, Optus Networks Pty Ltd      

Category: Satellite phone network services 

Preferred Tenderers: Globalstar Australia Pty Ltd, Telstra Corporation Ltd      

Category: Fixed-to-mobile services  

Preferred Tenderers: Optus Networks Pty Ltd, Vodafone Pty Ltd 

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