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Satnews Daily
August 24th, 2016

Optus' Cell Coverage Succeeds In Remote Australia Such As Oodnadatta

Optus Mobile Tower – Mt Sylvia, QLD

Australia has always been unique with its vast empty spaces, beautiful oceans and interesting words such as billabong and tucker bag—and being remote made for difficult mobile coverage, until now with the introduction of Optus' small cells. 

Known as ‘small cells’, the small units provide the potential for an inexpensive and flexible alternative to traditional mobile towers.

Optus will boost mobile coverage for locals and travelers across 12 remote yet popular locations in the Northern Territory after announcing the introduction of cells that provide mobile coverage through Optus satellites.

Dennis Wong, Optus Networks acting Managing Director said, “Optus is committed to delivering choice and competition for all Australians and we are pleased to announce the introduction of small cell mobile technology on this scale which will enhance customer experience for our customers in the Territory.” 

The small cells will be located between selected locations from Katherine to Uluru along the Stuart Highway, key roadhouses and popular check-in locations including Daly Waters, Renner Springs, Three Ways, Barrow Creek and Erldunda. Additionally, locations such as Curtin Springs on Lasseter’s Highway have been chosen which are not currently serviced by any mobile coverage.

“This initiative is about delivering a choice in mobile services for workers and residents in and around these key locations, and enabling a ‘check-in’ capability for passing traffic such as traveling workers, truckies and tourists,” said Mr Wong.

Optus Satellite's Vice President, Paul Sheridan stated, “As the only Australian telco to own and operate mobile, fixed and satellite networks, this is a terrific initiative for Optus to leverage our expertise and introduce an innovative mobile and satellite technology solution to support our continued network expansion across Australia.”

“The use of small cells allow for the efficient provision of telecommunications services in difficult and often costly locations. While quite common in highly populous CBDs, we believe this is an excellent way to deploy this type of technology to deliver services to areas that are remote and geographically challenging.”

When coupled with satellite connectivity/backhaul these technologies provide the combined benefits of expanding mobile broadband coverage in a concentrated local area in rural, remote and previously unserviced locations. Optus has had great success in trialing and proving the small cell technology in the harsh conditions in remote South Australia, at Oodnadatta.

The small cells deliver mobile phone coverage up to a 3 kilometer radius depending on the surrounding topography.

New NT Small Cell Locations include:

  • Mataranka
  • Daly Waters
  • Ormiston Pound Ranger Station
  • Elliott
  • Renner Springs
  • Three Ways
  • Barkly Homestead
  • Wycliffe Well
  • Barrow Creek
  • Ti Tree
  • Erldunda
  • Curtin Springs