itWire is reporting that Vodafone Australia is preparing to enable 3G services in a number of regional centres from the beginning of May. It is understood that the cellco will complete the rollout of its 3G network by that date in areas including Albury-Wodonga, Ballarat, Ballina, Bunbury, Byron Bay, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Kiama, Lismore, Mackay, Newcastle, Toowoomba, Townsville, Wollongong, Bowral, Nowra and Wagga Wagga. The expansion will bring the operator’s 3G coverage to approximately 80% of the population; it plans to reach 94% by end-August 2009. This latest network expansion will operate at 2100MHz, the same as Vodafone’s existing infrastructure, but the operator has said that its next 3G network expansions will operate at 900MHz, with upgrades likely to take place at some 570 2G base stations. Vodafone said it will announce the locations of the next areas for expansion closer to the launch date.