At the beginning of my Tasmania driving holiday I noticed that Optus was claiming it’s mobile coverage of the state was much better than before.
My tests driving along the popular east coast route, inland to the Deloraine region via Campbell Town and back to Hobart on the Midland Highway show this is definitely the case.
Optus coverage with decent data speeds was available in substantially more areas compared to my last driving trip around Tasmania 5 years ago.
From late 2017 to late 2018 Optus announced the completion of 37 new mobile sites across Tasmania. The $42.2 million network investment was welcome news for mobile customers across Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Tasmania’s east coast.
In late 2019 the Tasmanian Government announced that it will partner with Optus to expand mobile coverage on the Great Eastern Drive, between Binalong Bay in the popular “Bay of Fires” tourist area and Buckland.
Optus was selected as the preferred tenderer, in a competitive process which will result in the Government’s own investment of $3.4 million more than triple to over $11 million. A total of 15 new mobile base stations will be constructed along the route.
The project will ensure more than 96% of the highway has high quality mobile coverage, providing better opportunities for communities, upgraded access for tourists and improved safety in general.
Additionally, as part of the tender, the Government has made provision for other telecommunications carriers to co-locate at each site. This is a great idea because it means other mobile carriers Telstra and Vodafone can install their own equipment at the same location to provide similar enhancements to their networks.
This is a major win for local residents and visitors alike who have been frustrated with current blackspots and lack of mobile coverage competition. The Great Eastern Drive is not just a major transport route, but also one of Tasmania’s iconic tourism experiences, and renowned for being one of Australia’s most stunning coastal drives which is why I just spent a week driving along it with my family.
The Tasmanian Government expects construction by Optus to be complete by early 2021.
Are you a Tasmanian who uses Optus mobile or a tourist who uses Optus and has recently driven through the Apple Isle?
Please let us know your experience of Optus coverage through the state in the comments, both in the areas recently/to be upgraded and in the more remote North-Western parts of the state such as Strahan, Zeehan and Wynyard.