In what it has termed ‘a Tasmanian first’, Australia’s Telstra has announced it will trial the installation of small cell mobile technology on infrastructure belonging to public utility provider TasNetworks. Outlining its plans, Telstra suggested the work could help fill some of Tasmania’s mobile black spots. The trial will reportedly get underway at a single site in the Weldborough area. Telstra CEO Andrew Penn was cited as saying that the project would test the feasibility of using existing power poles to improve mobile coverage in parts of Tasmania and the operator is understood to have identified a number of potential sites for small cells should a wider-scale rollout proceed.
Telstra is already utilising small cells to deliver services to several communities across Tasmania through its own investment at 17 locations on the island as part of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme. It also comes on the heels of the carrier completing an upgrade to its transmission network in August last year, connecting the island – the first stage of a national upgrade to improve capacity, flexibility and resilience – which more than doubled its capacity on two subsea cables across Bass Strait to 1Tbps.