Australia’s Optus has announced that it is conducting trials of satellite voice technology as part of the federal government’s Alternative Voice Services Trial (AVST) programme. A pilot project will reportedly showcase three Optus Satellite services designed to provide high quality, reliable voice and data, with the operator claiming that, once deployed, these will offer Australians in rural and remote areas access to mobile services through satellites that are comparable in quality to that of traditional copper wires.
The Optus Satellite services being trialled are: ‘SatOffice Direct To Home Voice Over IP’, which provides a remote location with satellite data (IP) connectivity and access to Optus’ VoIP network, via a satellite dish, modem and a standard DECT handset; ‘Femto – 4G satellite backhaul’, which uses a femtocell with 4G satellite backhaul to provide mobile coverage up to 1km from an antenna typically placed on a homestead roof; and ‘SatOffice POP Wireless Access Loop for VoIP’, which uses VSAT and Wi-Fi repeaters to extend satellite connectivity out to other properties several kilometres away via point to point wireless links. All three solutions are being tested separately across rural locations in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, with Optus supplying all communication infrastructure, including satellite terminals and antennas, wireless equipment, handsfree handsets and mobile phones for the Femto Cell 4G site. The three technologies are being trialled until May 2022.
Ben White, Optus Managing Director, Wholesale, Satellite and Strategy, said of the matter: ‘As a pioneer in satellite solutions and a leading regional communications provider for Australia, Optus is delighted to work with the Federal Government to trial innovative options across our world class network … Through Optus’ unique combination of satellite and mobile infrastructure, we are able to remove the tyranny of distance when connecting customers with life-changing technology across regional Australia.’