What's being done to tackle Australia's mobile blackspots?
How many times have you been out and about only to find your mobile phone has no signal? This is something the government is hoping to address, as it identifies the location of 6,000 blackspots.
These areas are found across many different parts of the country, including metropolitan and remote regions, but this could soon be about to change.
Paul Fletcher, parliamentary secretary to the minister for communications, said $100 million of funding is being made available for the initiative, which will be rolled out over the coming months.
What does the project involve?
Three major mobile providers - Optus, Telstra and Vodafone - will be responsible for nominating locations for the new base stations alongside specialist mobile infrastructure providers.
These will be drawn from the 6,000 locations that have been nominated and Mr Fletcher was keen to point out that not all of these sites will receive the infrastructure they need.
Efforts will be made to ensure each of the nominated locations doesn't have mobile coverage already, as in order to make a nomination, no proof needed to be provided.
It's expected that between 250 and 300 new base stations will be established in a bid to reduce the number of mobile blackspots the country is currently facing.
"Initial analysis suggests that in many cases the nominated locations are within a few kilometres of another nominated location, meaning that one base station may be able to provide coverage to multiple nominated locations," Mr Fletcher noted.
How will Australians benefit?
Better mobile coverage is something consumers need to think about when they compare phone plans, especially those who live in more remote areas of the country.
As phones become more advanced, the need for a reliable signal has perhaps never been so important to people throughout Australia.
Figures from Roy Morgan Research show around 30 per cent of the Australian population now owns or uses an iPhone - and this may increase further as the latest model is launched.
Of the 5.5 million consumers who currently have an iPhone, more than half are already planning on buying a new handset - as many as 70 per cent have their sights set on another Apple model.
The popularity of mobile phones shows little sign of slowing down, so the government's decision to minimise blackspots could end up being a timely one.
Posted by Richard West