Telstra will build 429 new mobile towers in regional australia telstra exchange electricity in water pipes

We are very pleased to announce that Telstra will participate in one of the largest ever expansions of mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia, through the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme. Click image for a state by state breakdown of locations – Telstra 3G/4G new towers in regional Australia

We will be building 429 new 3G/4G towers over the next three years, plus a further 250 4G data only small cells, representing a combined investment of more than $340 million in regional and remote Australia by Telstra, the Federal Government and several State and Local Governments as well.

Mobile connectivity has grown in importance as the combination of smart phones and tablets with increased mobile broadband speeds and capacity are changing the way we live and the availability of these services is often taken for granted in metropolitan locations.

Telstra has a heritage of nearly 35 years in providing mobile telephony to Australians, having brought every generation from 1G (that’s right there was one before Cellular started in 1987) through to the 4G networks of today. Along that journey we have been intimately involved with extending coverage through the rollout of new towers as well as creating new and innovative ways to stretch and improve mobile coverage into the far corners of the nation.

With this heritage we are acutely aware of the challenges facing communities living with limited access to a mobile network and that is why Telstra is excited to play an important role in delivering mobile coverage for the first time to a large number of regional communities as part of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme.

Over the next three years we will build 429 new 3G/4G towers to deliver mobile service to over 400 communities who currently have no coverage in or around their towns. This means places like Leeuwin in Western Australia, Cape Otway in Victoria, Coffee Camp in New South Wales, Widgee in Queensland, Lulworth in Tasmania, Imanpa in Northern Territory and Fregon in South Australia will be receiving coverage from a new Telstra tower, as well as hundreds more. This has been made possible by the support of not just the Federal Government, but very significant contributions by State and Local Governments as well.

In addition to the new mobile towers, we will be installing 250 Small Cells to deliver high speed 4G data services in some small country towns where suitable Telstra infrastructure is available. There will be 200 nationally and another 50 specifically for Queensland as part of our arrangements with the Queensland Government and we are now working with Government on how to allocate these small cells. At this stage, the Small Cell technology can only provide data services, however, we are working on implementing Voice over LTE technology which will allow customers to make voice calls using 4G.

Telstra has been investing in the expansion and upgrade of our wireless networks for the long term and in the past five years alone we have invested around $5 billion in our mobile network. Since we launched our Next G® network almost a decade ago, more than 99% of our network has been funded by investing our own capital.

With this Government partnership we are committing $165 million of our own funds in return for the $94.8 million allocated to Telstra by the Federal Government and we have worked with Victorian, NSW, Queensland, Tasmanian and Western Australian State Governments as well as multiple Local Governments to attract tens of millions of dollars in targeted additional funding. This means Telstra is able to deliver an investment of over $340 million in regional telecommunications. Coupled with our unparalleled experience in building networks, this investment will bring new and improved coverage to hundreds of communities across the country.

The Telstra mobile network currently reaches over 99.3% of the population and is by far the largest network in the country, covering 2.4 million square kilometres of the Australian land mass, thanks to our long term commitment to network investment.

As the first carrier to bring 4G mobile services to regional Australia, we know how important high-speed mobile can be to supporting local businesses, tourism and education, so we are also continuing the expansion of our 4G and 4GX services.

We will be offering other carriers the opportunity to use space on our towers to install their own equipment and offer services to their customers from these towers, in accordance with existing industry practices. Our competitors are well-resourced and free to invest in extending their networks into previously unserved regional areas. So this is not just good news for Telstra customers but an opportunity for all carriers to invest in expanding their coverage in regional Australia.