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We’re bringing coverage to more communities in regional Australia

Regional Network

Posted on March 18, 2019

3 min read

Under Round Four of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, we’re building 131 new mobile base stations and small cells to remove black spots and improve coverage for customers living in regional and remote areas.

In Round Four of the Mobile Black Spot Program, we’re contributing $23.3 million of the $55.6 million co-investment required for the new sites, alongside $18 million from the Commonwealth and $14.3 million from the Queensland, SA, Victorian and WA State Governments.

In this round of the Mobile Black Spot Program we will deliver 49 sites to New South Wales, 18 to Queensland, 19 to South Australia, 22 to Victoria and 23 to Western Australia. Many of these locations also address coverage at nearby public interest areas, like tourist attractions and health and emergency services facilities.

After the fourth round of the Mobile Black Spot Program is completed, we will have invested over $280 million and built over 780 new sites to improve coverage for regional areas around the country – a significant proportion of the total 1047 towers co-funded by Government under the Program since 2015.

We’ve already delivered more than 550 new mobile base stations across Australia under the Mobile Black Spot Program, bringing new and improved coverage to regional and remote areas and opening up new opportunities and economic benefits for communities and customers.

After our trial of small cells in Tasmania, we’ll continue to use small cell technology as an innovative and cost-effective approach to fixing black spots. A small cell is essentially a miniature version of a standard mobile base station, allowing us to deliver 4G coverage to areas where existing coverage is minimal or not available without the hundreds of thousands of dollars of infrastructure that a standard mobile base station typically requires.

Improving mobile coverage means people and businesses in regional and remote communities can do many things on the go that those in the cities take for granted – sharing on social media, streaming music and video, working remotely, or simply staying in touch with friends and family regularly. In the past, our Mobile Black Spot Program work has brought mobile coverage to the Pub With No Beer, connected Eggs and Bacon Bay to the world, and helped avocado farmers in Comboyne to monitor crops using IoT.

Over the five years to June 2019, our investment in our mobile network will total around $8 billion, of which around $3 billion will have been invested in regional areas. Our mobile network is supported by more than 9900 mobile base stations, covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres of the country, and reaches 99.5 per cent of the Australian population.

As well as our continued investment in our mobile network and the ongoing roll-out of new and improved coverage under the Mobile Black Spot Program, we’re investing in 5G with more than 200 5G-enabled sites already up and running, and more to come in 2019.

Our ongoing investment in regional and rural Australia


Posted on March 13, 2019

1 min read

Over the last five years up to June 2019, our total mobile network investment is around $8 billion of which almost $3 billion is invested in regional areas. We have also built more than 500 new mobile base stations under the Federal Government Mobile Black Spot Program.

The benefits of mobile connectivity are demonstrated through the many positive experiences our customers are having across the country. Whether it is the iconic Pub With No Beer in NSW, Eggs and Bacon Bay in Tasmania, Culla in far Western Victoria, or at Eganstown in the Victorian gold fields region.

In all of these examples, mobile coverage means people and businesses in regional and remote communities can do things many in the city take for granted. Whether it is streaming sports, movies and television, working remotely, or just staying in touch.

We are also embracing new and innovative applications of technology to extend coverage and connectivity.

The cutting edge technology offered by the 4GX-lite Mobile Satellite Small Cell Solution is an example of this. The Telstra Go Mobile and Stationary Repeater, an antenna that extends mobile coverage and allows customers to access coverage in places where it might be unavailable, is another example.

We’ve connected 500 black spot base stations and over 100 million calls

Network 5G

Posted on October 2, 2018

3 min read

We are proud to be working with the Federal Government to bring mobile connectivity to parts of rural and regional Australia for the first time.

In a significant milestone, we have now delivered 500 new mobile base stations under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP), which have carried more than 100 million calls.

Today I joined Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee, Rick Colless, the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Resources and Western NSW, Lithgow Mayor Ray Thompson and representatives of Lithgow City Council, the Clarence and Dargan Rural Fire Service and the Zig Zag Railway, at Clarence, near Lithgow, in NSW for the opening of our 500th new MBSP base station.

Telstra and both the Federal and NSW Governments have contributed funding towards the Clarence base station.

Clarence is home to the iconic Zig Zag Railway and this new base station will provide 3G and 4G coverage to the area for the first time, opening up a new world of connectivity for the Clarence community and supporting the many tourists who will visit the Zig Zag Railway once it is reopens to the public.

Through the MBSP, we have now provided new or improved mobile coverage for more than 55,000 homes and businesses across 4200 kilometres of road and around 160,000 square kilometres of the country.

But what is even more telling about the importance of this investment is the way these communities, which now have mobile coverage for the first time, are using it.

Since we switched on our first base stations as part of this program in December 2015, there have now been in excess of 100 million calls made and more than 5,000 terabytes of data downloaded.

That’s the equivalent of our customers downloading more than a million HD movies or a billion songs.

Our work is not done yet.

We are building more than 650 new mobile base stations through the three rounds of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program – that’s more than triple the commitment of all other carriers combined and represents a total Telstra investment of $260 million.

In addition to more than 650 new mobile base stations, we are continuing to install Black Spot Small Cells – with around 200 installed to date – delivering high speed 4G data services in some small country towns where suitable Telstra infrastructure is available.

It is all part of our commitment to providing our customers with Australia’s largest and fastest* mobile network.
* based on national average combined 3G/4G mobile speeds.

Partnership with the Victorian Government to expand mobile coverage


Posted on July 18, 2018

2 min read

We invest more in providing mobile coverage around the country than any other carrier and our mobile network reaches 99.4% of the population.

Partnerships with government and local communities are often a good way to extend coverage even further, especially in areas where a purely commercial investment may not stack up.

That is why we are proud to be building more than 650 new base stations under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program and why we are very pleased to announce a new partnership today with the Victorian Government to build 17 new base stations across the state.

Under the new agreement, we have been awarded more than $7 million in government funding towards the new base stations.  We will match these funds, taking the investment to more the $14 million.  In addition, we have committed up to $1 million to be used for the deployment of small cells and Telstra Go Repeaters to be installed across the State’s emergency service operation centres and vehicles.

Among the 17 new bases stations are Benloch East in the Macedon Ranges, Annuello in the Mallee, Cobungra in the Alpine National Park and Buckland Valley near Mt Buffalo.  We will now commence the detailed planning and approvals process, with a view to connecting the sites by the end of December 2019.

450 base stations online, and fast approaching 500


Posted on July 5, 2018

2 min read

Telstra continues to lead the way in delivery of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, switching on our 450th base station, as well as our first location under the recently announced Priority Location round of the program.

Closer to Papua New Guinea than the Australian mainland, Erub/Darnley Island is the location of our 450th base station, bringing Telstra’s 3G and 4GX mobile coverage to this beautiful part of the world for the first time.

Erub/Darnley Island, in the Torres Strait, is approximately 180 kilometres from Cape York Peninsula, more than 2,000km from Brisbane and home to around 300 people.

The remoteness of the site made delivering coverage to the community equally challenging and rewarding. Crews and equipment had to be either flown in or arrive by boat, whilst battling monsoonal rain, but the state of the art connectivity that is now being delivered to the island is bringing many benefits.

As well as being able to make calls and access fast wireless data, this project importantly opens up digital doors to education, health and business opportunities to benefit some of Australia’s most remote communities.

First site switched on under Priority Location Round

In April 2018, the Federal Government announced the successful tender bids for the third round of the Mobile Black Spot Program, the Priority Locations Round, and we’re proud to announce we’ve now switched on the first location at East Lynne, in NSW.

This new base station will enhance Telstra’s 3G and 4GX coverage for people who live and work in the area. We know how important mobile coverage is for Australians, and we’re proud to have brought better mobile coverage to this community so quickly.

Telstra has won an additional 89 sites in the Priority Locations round of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, boosting the total number of Telstra locations across the three rounds of the program to more than 650 sites.