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Phone coverage widened

TELSTRA yesterday launched its new $21 million WirelessWest project to improve mobile phone coverage in WA.

The national telco and the State and Federal Governments have each invested $7 million in expanding the existing CDMA mobile network by building 45 more CDMA mobile phone base stations throughout WA’s southern regions.

The upgrades will deliver digital CDMA mobile phone coverage to 95 per cent of WA’s regional population.

The project was simultaneously launched in Perth, Calingiri, Merredin and Beaufort River by Senator Alan Eggleston, standing in for Federal Communications Minister Senator Richard Alston, and State Development Minister Clive Brown.

The project is expected to take 18 months to complete, and will provide digital CDMA mobile coverage to many towns and communities, from north of Geraldton, south-east to Kalgoorlie and south to Esperance. It will cover most major roads and highways including the Great Eastern Highway, Midlands Road, South Coast Highway and the Coolgardie Esperance Highway.

Telstra Country Wide Regional managing director Geoff Booth said the project showed how corporate partnering with governments could make a significant contribution to telecommunications in the bush.

He said WirelessWest was one of the State’s largest regional CDMA mobile phone infrastructure developments and would support future business investment.

Business sectors expected to benefit include the entire WA Wheatbelt, the viticulture, farming, fruit growing, timber and tourism industries of the South West, and the fishing industry operating along the coast from Northampton to Esperance.

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