Australia’s remote internet coverage is so bad there is a dedicated lobby group to campaign for services. Steps are (slowly) being taken to increase coverage, and now Optus is installing satellite small cells in five locations across regional Northern Territory – as well as six locations across regional South Australia.
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Optus says the small cells lay the groundwork (so to speak) for an alternative to traditional mobile towers, and can be used in conjunction with satellite connectivity to expand mobile broadband coverage to previously unserviced locations. The small cells can deliver coverage in a 3 kilometre radius.
Back in August Optus announced it would roll out a total of 15 satellite cells across the Northern Territory.
“We are investing significantly to strengthen and broaden our mobile network coverage in regional areas, and this rollout is a natural progression following the small cell infrastructure that was successfully delivered in the Northern Territory earlier this year,” Optus Networks acting Managing Director, Dennis Wong, said in a statement.
Mr Wong called the small cell satellites a “vital improvement to our network in remote regions”.
Satellite small cells will be installed at Kulgera, Mt Ebenezer Roadhouse, Ross River Homestead, Simpsons Gap Visitor Centre and Glen Helen Homestead in the Northern Territory, as well as Cadney Park, Marla, Dalhousie Springs, Mt Dare hotel, Wilpena Pound and Maralinga in South Australia.