RAAG Road Safety Coordinator Graeme Ransley and Federal Member George Christensen at a known black spot on the Peak Downs Highway west of Mackay for mobile phones. Photo Tony Martin / Daily Mercury
RAAG Road Safety Coordinator Graeme Ransley and Federal Member George Christensen at a known black spot on the Peak Downs Highway west of Mackay for mobile phones. Photo Tony Martin / Daily Mercury Tony Martin

Vodafone making no promises on mobile black-spots

WHILE Vodafone recently announced a 40% increase to its regional coverage in Queensland it could not confirm whether notorious black-spots in the Bundaberg region would be addressed as part of its expansion.

Last month the NewsMail asked its readers to nominate the worst areas for coverage and we received an overwhelming response.

Areas around Bargara, Yandaran, Bucca and South Kolan were among the areas readers felt had been neglected over the years by telecommunication companies.

A Vodafone spokesman said there would be more news on local network upgrades in the future but it had identified other areas as a priority.

"The expansion of Vodafone's network in mid-North Queensland has centred on improving coverage and reliability on parts of the main highway systems; the Bruce, the Burnett, the Dawson and the Capricorn, in particular," he said.

"Vodafone is also working to get regulators and governments to level the regional telecommunications playing field.

"If we can reduce the cost of infrastructure we can see more competition between providers and more choice for customers."

Telstra Central Queensland & Sunshine Coast general manager Kris Carver said the company had over 30 mobile base stations serving the area, with 11 across Bundaberg and over 20 more across the region.

"There are areas around Mt Perry, Bullyard, Bucca, Avondale, Yandaran and Littabella Creek where we expect there would be limited indoor coverage, however, outdoor coverage is quite extensive throughout," he said.

"Telstra also invests in new products and initiatives aimed at maximising coverage in hard to reach places."

Mr Carver said these included the use of an external antenna and / or a Telstra Mobile Smart Antenna.

He said Telstra's mobile network covered 99.3% of the Australian population, across more than 2.3 million square kilometres but that areas of no or poor coverage were an inherent feature of wireless networks.

"Factors such as how far you are from the nearest base station, obstructions in the form of buildings, vehicles, trees, hills and building materials can all reduce the signal level available to customers' mobile devices," he said.

"Other reasons why coverage may be absent or poor include difficulties in accessing sites for mobile towers and antenna in rugged and remote areas."



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