Telstra today celebrated the activation of its 100th base station built under the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot Program. Located in Victoria's South Grampians, Culla is number 100 of the 577 base stations being developed by Telstra. When combined, Telstra says the 100 new base stations provide over 50,000 square kilometres of new or improved mobile coverage.
"The improved coverage is increasing access to new technologies for key regional sectors like agriculture, transport, mining and tourism – technologies which rely on a fast, reliable and affordable mobile network," said Telstra CEO Andy Penn. "Thousands of people in rural and regional areas can now talk with family, friends and run their businesses more effectively through Telstra’s 4GX service."
Penn says he expects Telstra will have 200 base stations online before the end of 2017.
The Mobile Black Spot Program is a Government initiative designed to improve mobile phone coverage and competition in regional, rural and remote Australia, especially in areas where there’s less financial incentive for telcos. To date, the government has committed to $160 million across the program's first two rounds, with another $60 million slated for round three. Telstra, Vodafone, Optus, and state and local governments have also co-invested in the program.
Optus is building 114 towers as part of the scheme, and Vodafone is building 74.
Telco tower at twilight image from Shutterstock.