Optus pumping $1 billion into regional coverage


WhistleOut
21 July 2017

Optus investing $1 billion into regional Australia


Happy news from Optus: the telco has today announced plans to invest a hefty one billion dollars into its regional mobile coverage over the next twelve months.

The history-making commitment sees Optus adding to the $3.6 billion-plus it's already poured into its nationwide network over the last three years. In addition to improving coverage and accessibility for regional consumers and businesses, the move will also benefit emergency workers in remote locations - essential in times of disaster.

More 4G, more mobile sites, and stronger coverage


The funds will go towards improving infrastructure in non-metropolitan areas, by expanding existing coverage and building better network performance and resilience. Optus' billion-dollar boost will add 500 new mobile sites across regional and remote Australia, help to complete its current 4G upgrade program (adding 4G capability to over 1800 sites), and add extra 4G capacity to a further 200 sites.

The new investment will also help pay for spectrum licenses in regional areas, and go towards the continued rollout of Optus' satellite small cell technology throughout Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. The rollout provides mobile voice and data services to Australians in remote locations that are not easily serviced by existing networks. 

As great as the investment is for country Australia, it's also a way for Optus to play catch-up with arch-rival telco Telstra. The competing company has long touted its superior regional coverage when compared to both Optus and Vodafone, but a genuine challenge from Optus could see more rural Australians willing to make a switch to a (slightly) more affordable mobile option.

RIP domestic roaming?


Unfortunately, a stronger Optus network is bad news for Vodafone, particularly as the latter's request to piggyback on the regional infrastructure built by both Optus and Telstra was recently shut down by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 

Vodafone has argued that wholesale domestic roaming - the ability for Vodafone customers to 'roam' on Telstra's rural network - would increase competition and therefore benefit mobile users in regional areas. However, the ACCC evidently vetoed the move, concerned that it could result in Telstra (and Optus) cutting their future investment in regional areas.

With Optus now making a push to pump up its own rural coverage, Vodafone's argument that domestic roaming will cut down on Telstra's regional market share is significantly weakened. Still, it's good news for the many Australians outside the big cities, and the many current Optus subscribers across the country. 

Optus' billion-dollar cash injection will take place between now and June of 2018. But if you can't wait that long to get on board with Australia's second-biggest telco, start comparing plans and deals below. 


Carrier Inclusions  
Optus
Optus
  • $30 My Plan Plus 12M SIM Only - Online plan
  • 3GB Data
  • Contract (12 mths)
  • $30/mth
  • Min. cost $360
Optus
Optus
  • $35 My Plan Plus SIM Only - Month to Month
  • 1.5GB Data
  • No Contract
  • $35/mth
  • Min. cost $35
Optus
Optus
  • $40 My Plan Plus 12M SIM Only
  • 15GB Data
  • Contract (12 mths)
  • $40/mth
  • Min. cost $480
Optus
Optus
  • $50 My Plan Plus SIM Only - Month to Month
  • 6GB Data
  • No Contract
  • $50/mth
  • Min. cost $50

Compare phones and plans from the following carriers...

Personal

Business

Mobile Deals

iPhone 8 - compare plans & prices

iPhone 8 - compare plans & prices

Compare plans & prices for the new iPhone 8 & 8 Plus including any special promotions being offered

Telstra Bonus Offers + Samsung Galaxy Note8

Telstra Bonus Offers + Samsung Galaxy Note8

Save $20/month with the Samsung Galaxy Note8 & Telstra + 60GB data, data-free music streaming & 3 Foxtel Now Starter Packs!

Save with UNLIMITED 2GB

Save with UNLIMITED 2GB

Get UNLIMITED 2GB for $15 for the first 6 renewals (usually $25). Use code 15FOR6. New customers only until 25th October

New Southern Phone 4G Plans

New Southern Phone 4G Plans

Check out these new Southern Phone 12-month SIM Only plans on 4G network, packed with great value!