Optus earmarks $1bn to boost regional mobile coverage
Optus has announced plans to spend $1 billion to expand its regional and rural mobile coverage by the end of June next year.
The company will use part of the investment to build 500 new mobile sites across regional and remote parts of the country, including 114 under the government’s Mobile Blackspots Program, which provides subsidies to help fund deployments in areas not served by existing networks.
The funds will also be used to upgrade more than 1800 sites from 3G to 4G as part of Optus’s 4G upgrade program; add additional 4G capacity to more than 200 existing sites; continue a rollout of satellite small cell technology in remote areas; and help pay for spectrum licences in regional areas.
“This represents one of the single largest investments in regional mobile infrastructure in Australia’s history,” Optus CEO Allen Lew said. It also represents the largest regional capital expenditure program in Optus’s 25-year history.
“Optus’s funding is earmarked to expand coverage and improve overall network performance for residents, businesses and our wholesale partners. It will also help build the network resilience that is critical to supporting public safety and emergency services during natural disasters,” Lew continued.
Optus is also collaborating with rivals to improve coverage in regional areas. For example, the company revealed that nine of the 16 new sites it is building in Tamworth and the surrounding areas will be co-built with another operator, but did not reveal which one.
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