Coverage and Capacity | Optus Switches on two satellite small cells in Litchfield National Park

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Optus has switched on two new mobile sites in the Northern Territory as part of round two of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot (MBSP) program, bringing much needed mobile coverage to parts of the Territory for the first time.

The two-new satellite small cells located at Wangi Falls and Florence Falls have been co-funded by Optus and the Federal Government to support tourism at the popular Litchfield National Park destinations.

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

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. 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,” said Andrew Sheridan, Optus Vice President Regulatory and Public Affairs.

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. 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,” added Sheridan.

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.

Satellite small cells provide a flexible alternative to a traditional mobile tower, using satellite connectivity and backhaul to deliver mobile coverage to a concentrated local area.