Media Release, 31 January 2012

Telstra and the Western Australia State Government today announced a significant expansion to Western Australia’s regional mobile phone coverage, with Telstra winning the contract to build the Regional Mobile Communication Project (RMCP).

For the State Government’s investment of $39.2million through the Royalties for Regions program, Telstra will deliver a total return of $106million in value to Western Australia, made up of both direct capital expenditure and access rights to Telstra’s infrastructure. This will result in 113 new mobile sites to bring increased coverage to regional and remote areas of the state.

Construction of the first sites is underway and it is anticipated the project will be completed over the next three years.

The project means the Telstra mobile network, will increase its geographic coverage by about 22 per cent in WA - from 430,000 km2 to more than 525,000 km2.

Telstra Regional Sales and Service Director Central West, Richard Fink, said the company was delighted to win the contract, which was open to competitive bid.

“Western Australians in regional communities throughout the state will benefit from improved coverage in more areas thanks to this initiative,” Mr Fink said.

“Keeping people connected is a vision both Telstra and the State Government share and Telstra looks forward to providing a network that will benefit not just individuals but also business, government, indigenous communities and emergency services in WA,” Mr Fink said.

“This expansion of the Telstra mobile network will provide the communications backbone for the economic and social development of Western Australia for years to come.”

Following the completion of RMCP, more than 8300km of the state’s highways will have near-continuous car-kit coverage, improving mobile phone coverage along all the major highways throughout regional, rural and remote Western Australia.

Mr Fink said the benefits for the state were enormous and included:

  • Increased geographical and highway coverage of mobile voice and wireless broadband telecommunications infrastructure
  • Enhanced voice and data services to targeted regional and rural areas
  • The support of economic benefits to regional Western Australia through an expansive, advanced and integrated voice, video and high speed mobile broadband network
  • Improvements to emergency services organisations’ capabilities for both government and non-government organisations
  • Provision of services which may be used to improve delivery of health and education services to remote indigenous communities and regional Western Australia.

The Regional Mobile Communications Project, funded by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program, is administered by the Western Australian Department of Commerce with the assistance of the Department of Regional Development and Lands.