Australian mobile network operator (MNO) Optus has announced the launch of a satellite small cell site at William Creek in South Australia, marking the first such deployment it is undertaking as part of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme. In addition, in the press release Optus noted that the launch also signals the first time that the town – which is located just over 1,000 kilometres from Adelaide – has had mobile reception of any sort.
According to Optus, the location is being serviced by a satellite small cell, which it claims provides a cost effective and flexible alternative to a traditional mobile tower, using satellite connectivity and backhaul to deliver mobile coverage to a concentrated local area in rural, remote and previously unserviced locations. The site should offer coverage over a radius of approximately three kilometres, and forms part of an investment which is expected to total more than AUD8.5 million (USD6.5 million) from Optus and the South Australian and Federal Governments to improve mobile coverage across regional and remote areas. Additional sites set to roll out across South Australia as part of this programme include: Beltana Station; Blinman; Coward Springs; Farm Beach; Innamincka; Mindarie; Parchilna Pub; Parawa; Rawnsley Park; Maree; Puntabie; Stokes Bay; Winninowie and Wynarka.