Telstra has launched its ‘4GX-lite mobile satellite small cell’, a smaller, lower-cost version of a standard mobile base station which it describes as ‘a new solution to help people living and working in some of Australia’s most remote places purchase their own coverage extension of the Telstra 4GX mobile service’. The device has been built with a flexible design, it says, to meet the varied needs of remote communities, and can support voice, email, web browsing and basic data usage, although due to constraints with the satellite backhaul it is not intended to support data heavy applications. Further, Telstra says that 4GX-lite devices can be installed in most areas of Australia beyond the reach of its existing coverage footprint, and with the company planning to have 16 trial sites on air by July, it said it is aiming to deliver up to 500 satellite small cells over the next three years. Meanwhile, a first customer has already been signed up, Telstra confirmed, with a heads of agreement in place with Queensland’s Winton Shire Council to install two satellite small cells to improve coverage at a tourism hotspot and a remote town.
Mike Wright, Group Managing Director Networks said the Satellite Small Cell, said of the development: ‘The Telstra 4GX-lite mobile satellite small cell is a way to bridge the gap between what customers want and what is financially viable. This solution gives consumers, businesses and local councils more control over where they can get mobile coverage, making them part of the decision making process.’