Optus has announced switching on a new 4G mobile site in regional New South Wales by collocating on a National Broadband Network (NBN) fixed-wireless site, for a total of three in the same region planned for the year.
The new mobile site, located at an NBN tower on Thomson Drive in Tathra, is part of the telco's efforts to expand coverage regionally ahead of switching on its 5G network at the beginning of 2019.
Optus has additionally leveraged NBN's sites in Central Tilba and in Candelo Town, the latter of which will be completed later this year.
"It's important Optus customers in regional and rural Australia have access to reliable mobile reception," Optus regional manager for the Riverina Karin Wilcox said on Tuesday.
"The devastating bushfires earlier this year have highlighted the importance of mobile coverage in regional Australia and we are confident that this new Optus site will play a key role in further supporting services in the area."
Its regional rollout will also see the telco build its own mobile sites in Broulee and Moruya Central this year, with the former already having been activated.
NBN's Cell Site Access Service (CSAS) product allows carriers to use its towers and fibre services by installing additional antennas.
NBN had last year revealed that Telstra was leading collocation across its fixed-wireless towers; at the time, Telstra had previously arguing that the low number of collocation sites "raises questions as to whether the pricing is competitive enough and whether the NBN has an incentive to drive the deployment of this [CSAS] service".
Back in early 2015, Optus had additionally announced that it would be co-building mobile towers in regional areas alongside NBN.
Under its own funding, Optus in August announced installing 37 new mobile cell sites across Tasmania under a AU$42.2 million expansion of its mobile network to provide more capacity, quality, and faster data speeds.
Optus CEO Allen Lew said Optus would additionally spend another AU$4.5 million to build eight more sites by March 2019 in Cradoc, Magra, Salamanca Place, Austins Ferry, Campania, Romaine West, Jericho East, and Doctors Rocks.
Optus has also been working with the Victorian government to add more mobile coverage across that state, in July announcing that it will build another 11 towers under the Victorian Mobile Black Spot Project.
As of June 30, Optus' 4G mobile network provided coverage to 96.9 percent of the population, with 6,895 of its total mobile sites upgraded to 4G and 5,800 of these upgraded to 700MHz spectrum.
Optus had last year announced a that it would invest AU$1.5 billion in improving its mobile telecommunications coverage throughout Australia.
Optus has improved its mobile coverage across Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, and the east coast of Tasmania, building 37 new mobile sites as it eyes eight more before March 2019.
The government has finally made good on an election promise to provide fixed-line and fixed-wireless NBN connections instead of satellite to the West Coast of Tasmania.
The end of NBN's temporary discount on 50Mbps services means smaller retailers may have to stop offering lower-end products in order to make a profit, according to Aussie Broadband.
NBN had forecast just 1.4 percent of fixed-wireless users to take up its 100Mbps service, with the company also pointing the finger at more than 1,500 'extreme' users who individually downloaded more than 1TB during May.
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