Optus will build 114 mobile blackspot towers

Alex Kidman 1 December 2016

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Optus has successfully tendered for Federal Government money as part of the Mobile Blackspot scheme.

The Federal Government’s Mobile Blackspot scheme is designed to offer carriers funds to fill in the worst gaps in Australia’s regional mobile phone coverage. Previous tender rounds have been dominated by Telstra’s building efforts, although Vodafone has also been a minor partner in the regional rollout of new towers.

Now Optus is getting on on the Blackspot scheme, announcing that it has secured funding for 114 mobile towers as part of the second round of funding. Optus will get $26.4 million in government funding, as well as tipping $36.4 million of its own funding into building 114 new mobile sites.

In terms of regional breakdown, Queensland will see the most new Optus coverage with 27 planned sites, just ahead of 23 sites in Western Australia. New South Wales will see 18 new sites, while Victoria gets 18. Optus will build 15 sites in South Australia and 13 in the Northern Territory, and only 2 in Tasmania.

Optus has also signalled that it plans to expand its 1800MHz network coverage in the ACT, Queensland and NSW, having invested $196 million in regional spectrum licences. It already operates services in this spectrum in Bendigo, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Nowra, Vincentia and Toowoomba.


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