Optus to trial satellite technology for remote communities

Optus to trial satellite technology for remote communities

As part of the Alternative Voice Services Trial (AVST) agreement with the Australian Government, Optus will be delivering innovative trials on satellite technology to support rural and remote communities. 

“As a pioneer in satellite solutions and a leading regional communications provider for Australia, Optus is delighted to work with the Federal Government to trial innovative options across our world-class network,” Optus’s Managing Director, Wholesale, Satellite and Strategy Ben White said.

“Through Optus’ unique combination of satellite and mobile infrastructure, we are able to remove the tyranny of distance when connecting customers with life-changing technology across regional Australia. With unrivalled experience in Australia, we’re excited to trial state of the art satellite voice technologies designed specifically to address the demands of those without traditional connectivity.” 

Under the agreement, three Optus Satellite services will be showcased to provide high quality, reliable voice and data: 

  • SatOffice Direct To Home Voice Over IP — This service will provide a remote location with satellite data (IP) connectivity which will provide access to Optus’ Voice Over IP network and allow connectivity into the telephony network. 
  • Femto – 4G satellite backhaul — Under this service, a micro mobile coverage radius of up to 1 km will be provided from an installed antenna for areas without service. This is supported by an Optus enabled 4G SIM to make/receive 4G calls and data where available. 
  • SatOffice POP Wireless Access Loop for VoIP — A remote location will be supplied with satellite data (IP) connectivity under this service by using Wireless Access technology. With an Optus-provided VSAT and WI-FI repeater deployed at the main homestead, other buildings within the property can be connected using point to point wireless links. 

Once the services are deployed, Australians in rural and remote areas will have access to mobile services through satellites comparable in quality to that of traditional copper wires.

This will increase coverage beyond the fixed-line socket in the homestead to the surrounding paddocks, giving Australians more options on how and where they connect. 

Minister for Regional Communications Bridget McKenzie welcomed Optus’ approach towards the Australian Government’s AVST agreement. 

“The $2 million AVST program aims to identify new ways deliver voices services including by new providers while assessing their effectiveness and raising awareness of alternative solutions to provide better services and functionality,” Minister McKenzie said. 

“Optus has an opportunity, with this Liberal Nationals Government funding, to showcase new services that offer greater functionality for people on the farm, including greater ability to use mobile phones around the farm.”

The AVST agreement was announced during the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, which sought feedback from rural, regional, and remote communities on telecommunications issues.

The three solutions are currently being tested separately across rural locations in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland until May 2022. Optus is supplying all communication infrastructure for the solutions, including satellite terminals and antennas, wireless equipment, handsfree handsets and mobile phones for the Femto Cell 4G site. 

Source: Optus Media Centre. Content has been edited for style and length.

Eliza Sayon
Eliza Sayon
Eliza Sayon is an experienced writer who specialises in corporate and government communications. She is the content producer for Public Spectrum, an online knowledge-based platform for and about the Australian public sector.