The NSW Government has announced the start of an open ‘Request for Proposal’ to deliver improved mobile phone coverage in regional locations not yet covered under existing mobile coverage programs, as part of the $400 million Regional Digital Connectivity program.
Led by the Department of Regional NSW, the $50 million Stage 1 Mobile Coverage Project is focused on investigating new and emerging technologies to future proof mobile coverage and promote consumer choice for rural and regional communities.
The tender seeks telecommunications providers interested in forming a partnership with the government to design active sharing solutions to deliver coverage to identified mobile black spot locations in remote, rural and regional NSW.
Active sharing will deliver improved mobile coverage in remote communities, reduce the network set-up and asset costs to individual telecommunications providers, increase competition and consumer choice, and enable adoption of new technologies such as 5G.
With COVID-19 impacting the way people live and work, it is more important than ever for remote, rural and regional communities to have access to a reliable mobile service, to support remote working, e-commerce, and staying in touch with friends and families.
The tender will close on Monday, 17 January 2022.
The ‘Request for Proposal’ is the first phase of the tender process, with participants who have successfully designed active sharing solutions to be invited to form consortia and submit detailed proposals for funding to implement their solutions in mid-2022.
The Department of Regional NSW looks forward to receiving collaborative partnership proposals from the telecommunications sector to deliver innovative solutions to improve mobile coverage. An industry briefing will be held to provide more information to interested companies.
The results of Stage 1 of the Mobile Coverage Project will inform the design and delivery of a further $250 million to improve mobile phone coverage in rural and regional NSW, as part of the Regional Digital Connectivity program.
The Regional Digital Connectivity program is part of the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, led by the Department of Regional NSW.