Mobile coverage has become a core component of life, but there are still communities across Australia that have limited or no mobile coverage.

Through the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, we’re bringing mobile coverage to 6 communities in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia through the construction of six new mobile base stations.

Last week, we switched on the first of these mobile base stations in Amata, South Australia, and headed out to the community to celebrate.

With a population of around 300, Amata sits approximately 250 kilometres west of the Stuart Highway and is just south of the Northern Territory/South Australia border.

It’s easy to underestimate how significant mobile coverage is to people in rural and remote Australia when you live in the metropolitan centres.

Amata is the definition of remote Australia – where supplies are delivered by truck and mail is delivered by air.

Mobile coverage is invaluable to these areas – bringing everything from internet banking and social media, to peace of mind when travelling long distances.

For example, whilst we were there, a family whose car had broken down 60km outside of Amata were able to use mobile coverage to access social media and send a message to friends in Alice Springs, who rang a family member in Ernabella, who then contacted family in Amata to send help.

There are six locations across the nearly 103,000 km2 that will receive mobile coverage over coming months thanks to Telstra’s roll out of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program – Amata, Fregon/Kaltjiti, Indulkana/Iwantja, Mimili, Ngarutjara Homeland and Pipalyatjara.

Telstra has now switched on more than 250 of the 577 base stations it is building in rural and regional Australia under the Mobile Black Spot Program. This represents $486 million worth of co-investment between Telstra, the Federal and State Governments and numerous local councils.