Telstra will eliminate black spots at 131 locations under Round Four of the Federal Government Mobile Black Spot Program, expanding its investment to bring new or improved coverage to more communities in regional Australia.
In Round Four Telstra will build a mixture of new mobile base stations and small cells, contributing $23.3 million of the $55.6 million co-investment required for the new sites. The Queensland, South Australian, Victorian and Western Australian State Governments are contributing a combined $14.3 million and the Commonwealth is contributing $18 million.
Under the Mobile Black Spot Program, Telstra has to date delivered more than 550 new mobile base stations across Australia, delivering new and improved coverage, economic benefits and opportunities for customers living in regional and remote locations.
Telstra Chief Executive Andy Penn said the use of small cell technology was an innovative, cost-effective approach to fixing black spots.
“A small cell is a miniature version of a standard mobile base station and Telstra is using the technology to cost effectively deliver 4G coverage to areas where existing coverage is minimal or not available,” he said.
“Mobile coverage means people and businesses in regional and remote communities can do things many in the city take for granted. Whether it is streaming sports, movies and television, working remotely or just staying in touch.”
Over the five years to June 2019, Telstra’s total mobile network investment will total around $8 billion, of which almost $3 billion will have been invested in regional areas.
The Mobile Black Spot Program is an example of the effectiveness of Government partnering with the private sector to deliver benefits for communities.
“Our investments will help towns and communities relying on mobile connected devices more than ever before,” Penn said.
“The partnerships we have formed with Governments at all levels are providing connectivity and services to many areas of Australia where it was otherwise uneconomical to do so.”
Telstra’s mobile network is supported by more than 9900 mobile base stations covering more than 2.5 million square kilometres and reaching 99.5 per cent of the Australian population.
In December 2018, Telstra was ranked Australia’s best mobile operator in both the P3 and Systemics mobile benchmark surveys.
In addition, Telstra is leading the way in preparing Australia for 5G technology – launching more than 200 5G-enabled sites across Australia by 31 December 2018.