OPTUS will soon be able to better compete against Telstra after announcing it will spend $1 billion over the next 12 months to improve and expand its mobile network throughout regional Australia.
The telco yesterday announced it will build 500 new mobile sites, including 114 towers under the Federal Government’s Mobile Blackspots Program, and upgrade an existing 1,800 3G sites to 4G technology.
Making the announcement in Tamworth, Optus Chief Executive Allan Lew said the billion-dollar spend was one of the single largest investments in regional mobile infrastructure in Australia’s history.
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Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce endorsed the upgrade, saying Optus had risen to the challenge.
“Optus is rising to challenge,” he said. “It is there ready to compete with Telstra and compete with Vodafone. It’s not just letting one person get ahead.”
“It is going to make sure that, not only have you got the service, you have the competition and market place to make sure you get the best price so you are not held over a barrel.
“And ultimately the statement will be made, ‘which mobile phone will I carry that I can rely on in regional Australia to get me from one capital city to another without dropping out’? Because that’s the sort of carrier I want to be with.”