The WA Government has released a $39.2 million tender looking for a vendor to improve mobile coverage in regional Western Australia.
Studies and community consultation undertaken by the State Government indicated a low level of mobile coverage and broadband internet availability in many regional areas. The government wants a vendor to improve this situation by installing more towers, which are to be integrated with existing mobile communications network infrastructure.
"The shortcomings of mobile telephone coverage on the state's major regional highways need to be improved not only for mobile telephone but also for radio communications coverage, which is essential for our police and emergency services, business and recreational purposes," Regional Development and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls said in a statement earlier this week.
Applicants will be required to outline how they will deliver mobile voice communications to the greatest possible number of coverage locations, said Grylls. They need to propose their solutions by 5 May.
Science and Innovation Minister John Day said that the project will be a "significant investment" to ensure access to improved telecommunications. "This will ensure coverage of major roads, highways and communities, located in regional, rural and remote WA," said Day.
The tender is part of the Royalties for Regions-funded Regional Mobile Communications Project (RMCP), which has allocated $120.3 million in funding in 2010/11 to improve telecommunications infrastructure in WA over three years.
The WA Government had already started to expand mobile coverage on WA Highways as part of the RMCP late last year.