Vodafone mobile customers will, from today, be able to access 3G services in hundreds of rural areas around Australia, after the company completed its delayed network upgrade.
The expansion, which cost around $500m and was first announced in December 2007, was due to go live by the end of last year.
Vodafone blamed issues with its supplier, Ericsson for causing the delay.
Vodafone's 3G network coverage now extends as far west as Kununurra in WA, north as Port Douglas in Queensland and south as Devonport in Tasmania.
The company claims it now reaches 94 percent of the population compared to 80 percent before the upgrade.
The network operates on the 900MHz and 2100MHz spectrum, and can theoretically hit download speeds of 3.6Mbps.
All new and existing Vodafone customers in the upgraded areas will receive free access to social networking site Facebook until the end of October.
Upgraded areas include: Sydney, North Coast (from Newcastle to Evans Head), The Hunter Valley Region, Byron Bay, Lismore, Central North (including Tenterfield, Moree), Northern Rivers (including Lismore and Grafton), Northern Tablelands (including Armidale, Glen Innes and Inverell), Ballina, Kiama, West of the Blue Mountains (including Orange, Bathurst and Parkes), Albury, South West (around Goulburn and Yass), Snowy Mountains (including Cooma and Perisher Valley), Central South (including Wagga Wagga, Yass and Young), Far South Coast (stretching from Sussex Inlet to Eden), Wollongong, Bowral, Nowra, Canberra and surrounding areas.
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