Optus Mobile has launched its 3G network in Canberra today, making it the country’s second 3G operator, after 3 Australia. The technology is currently only available to business customers and government agencies, but the operator plans to roll out 2,000 mobile base stations by March 2007 and expand to Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth in the near future. The launch comes ahead of that of rival operator Telstra Mobile, which is planned for July. Optus will share 3G infrastructure with Vodafone Australia, which is planning its own launch by mid-2005.
In a separate story, Optus Mobile’s parent SingTel Optus, has revealed plans to raise monthly line rental charges for its residential fixed line customers next week, as it struggles to maintain the viability of its wireline business, in the face of an increasing migration to mobile phones. Optus will also raise the call connection charge for fixed-to-mobile calls, national long-distance and international calls. Line rental charges have increased by between 18% and 33% since February 2004.