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BREAKING NEWS: Optus Moves Into Regional Australia With $1B Investment

In a move that’s set to challenge Telstra’s long-held dominance in the area, Optus has announced it plans to significantly expand into the regional market.

Announcing the initiative at a media briefing earlier this morning, CEO Allen Lew said that “this represents one of the single largest investments in regional mobile infrastructure in Australia’s history.”

The effort will see the telco invest $1 billion into infrastructure, building 500 new mobile sites across regional and remote parts of Australia.

Another 1800 3G sites will be bumped up to 4G while 200 sites with existing 4G sites set to receive a capacity upgrade.

In addition, Optus say 114 of these sites will fall under the Federal Government’s Mobile Blackspot Program.

 

“Optus is building out its mobile network in the places where people live, work and travel to ensure they can lead a vibrant online life. Importantly, we are densifying the mobile network to provide better download speeds for data-hungry applications such as video streaming,” Lew said.

The announcement comes just months after the ACCC announced it would not force Optus and Telstra to share its regional infrastructure with rivals.

Optus chairman Paul O’Sullivan previously said this decision would determine its future involvement in the Mobile Blackspot Program.

Vodafone had been a major supporter of declaring domestic mobile roaming, and has launched legal action against the ACCC for its decision to make phone users in regional areas “continue to pay too much and suffer poor coverage”.

With Optus’ renewed push into regional, along with TPG’s impending launch of its own mobile network, may see Vodafone rethinking its strategy.

Optus is expected to rollout the improvements to regional areas through to June 2018

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