Trio awarded government grants for alternative voice trials

17 Feb 2021

Australian communications minister Paul Fletcher has announced that Optus, Pivotel and Telstra have each been awarded grants under the final tranche of the government’s AUD2 million (USD1.6 million) Alternative Voice Services Trials (AVST) programme.

In a press release regarding the development, it was noted that this latest round of tests will include Telstra offering up to 300 ‘trial services’ in a range of ‘diverse locations’ across the country; the majority of the services offered by the operator will reportedly be ‘fixed’ voice services delivered using its 4G network, although Telstra will also trial a small number of voice services delivered over satellite. For its part, Optus will offer 15 trial services at predetermined regional locations in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, Queensland and SA; these will include both fixed and mobile voice calls, with the operator also offering optional broadband data access with backhaul provided through its satellite network. Rounding out the trio, Pivotel will offer up to 60 trial services at 30 locations in regional and remote areas of Australia, with those participating expected to ‘be able to use the full functionality of mobile handsets to make and receive VoIP calls when at home or out and about’.

Commenting, Mr Fletcher said: ‘While Optus, Pivotel and Telstra are already providing voice services across Australia, the grants will enable interested consumers to try out new types of services without additional cost.’