The federal government has announced where the first cohort of 78 mobile base stations in its blackspot reduction program will be built during the first half of 2016.
Round one of the scheme will see Telstra and Vodafone chip in $165 million and $20 million respectively to supplement the federal, state, local and community funding totalling $189 million, to build 78 base stations by the end of June this year.
The program aims to patch up gaps in mobile phone coverage in rural and regional Australia.
NSW will receive the most upgraded or new base stations (144), followed by Western Australia (130), Victoria (110), Queensland (68), Tasmania (31), South Australia (11) and the Northern Territory (5).
Round one of the mobile blackspot program will see cellular service extended to around 3000 locations with no or little coverage, nominated by the public.
To date, 19 base stations have already been built in locations across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania.
In total, 499 new or upgraded base stations will be completed over the next three years, the government said. Round one of the program will provide an additional 68,600 square kilometres of coverage for handheld devices, and 150,000 square kilometres of reception using an external antenna.
The locations where the 499 stations will be built or upgraded can be accessed at the national map site, by selecting the 'communications' tab and 'mobile black spot program - funded base stations' box.
State governments put forward some 6000 black spot locations in 2014, with Victoria identifying 2029 areas with bad mobile coverage, followed by New South Wales with 1780 nominations.
Locations for round two of the blackspot reduction program will be announced by the end of this year, after a competitive selection process for funding is unveiled in the coming weeks, the government said.