Pilbara national parks get mobile phone coverage

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Optus has switched on satellite small cells at several sites in Karijini.
Camera IconOptus has switched on satellite small cells at several sites in Karijini. Credit: Pilbara News, Tom Zaunmayr

Mobile reception has come to two of the Pilbara’s major national parks for the first time.

Last month Optus switched on satellite small cells at several sites in Karijini and one in Millstream National Parks, providing phone reception over a radius of about 3km around each area.

With no reception formerly available in either park, visitors can now make calls, send texts and access mobile data at the Karijini eco resort, campground or visitor centre and at the homestead at Millstream National Park.

Optus vice-president of regulatory and public affairs Andrew Sheridan said the company was glad to offer visitors to Karijini access to mobile coverage.

“As one of Western Australia’s most popular tourist sites it’s important that people who visit this beautiful, but remote part of Australia, have the ability to check in and connect with friends and family back home,” he said.

Full reception at the sites will only be available to Optus phone customers though non-Optus users will be able to make emergency services calls using the network.

The cells being used in Karijini and Millstream are among 11 from Optus which have recently gone live in remote parts of regional WA, funded by the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

Satellite small cells are an alternative to traditional mobile towers which operate like a traditional 3G mobile base station, using satellite connectivity and backhaul to deliver mobile coverage in a concentrated local area.

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