There is some very good news for usage of mobile phones when travelling around Tasmania or living in the more regional areas of Tasmania. From this Government website it has been announced as follows:

The Australian Government committed $100 million through Round 1 of the Programme to invest in telecommunications infrastructure to address mobile black spots in outer metropolitan, regional and remote Australia.

Round 1 of the Programme will deliver 499 new and upgraded mobile base stations across regional and remote Australia – 429 Telstra base stations and 70 Vodafone base stations. The locations to benefit under Round 1 of the Programme were announced on 25 June 2015.

The 499 mobile base stations will provide new and upgraded handheld coverage to 68,600 square kilometres of regional Australia. In addition, over 150,000 square kilometres of regional Australia will receive new external antenna coverage and over 5,700 kilometres of major transport routes will receive either new external antenna or handheld coverage.

The total to be invested in new and upgraded base stations under Round 1 of the Programme is $385 million.

Five state governments – NSW, Vic, Qld, WA and Tas – have agreed to partner with the Australian Government to co-fund base stations in their jurisdictions. A number of local governments, businesses and community organisations have also agreed to co-funding arrangements with the successful applicants.

In addition to the Commonwealth and state government funding commitments, the Programme has leveraged significant private sector investment – Telstra will spend $165 million and Vodafone $20 million. The first base stations funded under the Programme will be rolled out before the end of 2015. The rollout will continue for a three year period. The rollout sequence will be determined by Telstra and Vodafone based on various factors, including obtaining local government planning approvals for new base stations.

A map of locations which will receive new or upgraded coverage under Round 1 of the Programme can be viewed on the National Map or downloaded as an Excel file.

In addition, as part of Telstra’s proposal, it will deploy up to 200 4G small cell sites in towns around Australia where suitable infrastructure is available, with the locations to be mutually agreed between Telstra and the Government. The Government expects to finalise the locations for the 4G small cells with Telstra during the second half of 2015.

From this news many regional areas in Tasmania will be getting either new or improved coverage. There is a ma provided to view the areas being covered but it is difficult to use.

The map can be viewed here: National Map

When you view the map online you need to

  1. Ar the top right, select Base Maps and choose the second option on the second row. This makes the map easier to read.
  2. On the left menu expand the options under Communications and tick the Mobile Black Spot – Funded Base Stations option at the bottom
  3. Zoom into Tasmania to see all the locations clearly

As you can see from the above passage the only 2 companies to benefit will be Telstra and Vodafone – there is no improvement at all for users of Optus, and the vast majority of new coverage is with Telstra.

We have an article on choosing your phone and internet coverage in Tasmania and our advice remains to choose either Telstra direct or a Telstra reseller in Tasmania because of their superior coverage.