Optus has flagged a two-year, $25 million investment program in Tasmania, aiming to triple the number of base stations serving its mobile network on the island state.
In an announcement made in conjunction with Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings, Optus said it would expand its dual-band 2100MHz/900MHz coverage in Tasmania from under 30 cells to over 100 by the end of the two-year rollout.
Optus said that 45 towns whose residents previously had little choice but to use Telstra would now be offered an alternative.
New areas included:
- Irishtown, Stanley and Arthur River in the North West;
- Bridport, Lilydale and Scottsdale in the North East;
- Strahan, Queenstown and Zeehan in the West;
- Adventure Bay, Alonnah and Dover in South West; and
- St Marys, St Helens, Coles Bay and Swansea on the East Coast.
Optus said it would also boost coverage in Devonport, Hobart and Launceston.
The 3G network would soon cover 96 percent of the island’s population, Optus said, but the telco stressed that these users would require a dual-band handset to access the network.
Optus’ expansion plans in Tasmania were previously interrupted by local councils and resident action groups attempting to prevent the construction of mobile phone towers.
Today a spokesman for Optus conceded that many of the towns to be connected under the plan were previously due to be connected in 2008. Under that plan, the company planned to spend $315 million nationally.
"Due to a reprioritisation in the 2008 program to meet growing data demands. a small number of sites were delayed," the spokesman said. "They have now received funding as part of yesterday's announcement."