Telstra’s new communications tower at Waterhouse to improve connectivity to Flinders Island
Wednesday 12 June 2019
The 80 metre high radio tower at Waterhouse is Telstra’s tallest structure on the Tasmanian mainland and has been recently replaced as part of a challenging project taking almost six months and costing $1.5m.
The tower plays an essential role in linking Flinders Island to the Tasmanian mainland and its connection to Mt Tanner is the longest radio link across water in Telstra’s network.
“Constructing the new tower, located almost 100 km north east of Launceston, brought many challenges that Telstra needed to overcome,” said Michael Patterson, Regional General Manager for Telstra in Tasmania.
“We know that the site is located close to a breeding and nesting area for the endangered Wedge-tail Eagle, so we worked closely with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife department to ensure onsite construction works occurred outside of the seven month breeding season,” he said.
Building an 80 metre high tower also involves the coordination of significant levels of materials and specialised equipment and resources. These included:
- Over 55 tonnes of steel and 20,000 bolts were required for the construction;
- All the metal needed to be painted to protect it from the elements, which was undertaken by
local Launceston firm McElligotts;
- A 300 tonne crane, the second largest in Tasmania, was required for three days to lift the pre-
constructed sections into place in late March; and
- Up to eight specialised riggers were employed to construct the tower, requiring over 400 nights’
accommodation in local hotels.
“Following completion of the tower structure in late March, Telstra has been installing and testing additional equipment to help supply connectivity to the new mobile base stations on Flinders Island, becoming fully operational in early June,” Mr Patterson said. “In addition to this project, Telstra has also undertaken an upgrade to the transmission connection from the tower site to Launceston.”
The new structure replaces a similar four leg, lattice tower that was approximately 50 years old and at the end of its lifecycle. The old tower has since been dismantled and removed from the site.
Over the five years to June 2019, Telstra’s national mobile network investment will total around $8 billion, of which almost $3 billion will have been invested in regional areas. In Tasmania, in FY19 alone, Telstra is investing almost $20 million to improve mobile network coverage and capacity for our customers.
“Telstra has more than 300 mobile tower sites across Tasmania, covering more than 59 per cent of the land and delivering mobile coverage to 98.7 per cent of the state’s population. This is over 100 sites more than our nearest competitor,” Mr Patterson said.
For more information please contact:
Chris Marks – Telstra Media Manager (Tasmania, SA, NT)
M: 0475 963 824
Ref Number 061 / 2019
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