IMPROVED COVERAGE: Telstra area general manager May Boisen, Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson and Innovation, Science and Digital Economy Minister Leeanne Enoch with Bundaberg Telstra team manager Andrew Rankine at South Kolan.
IMPROVED COVERAGE: Telstra area general manager May Boisen, Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson and Innovation, Science and Digital Economy Minister Leeanne Enoch with Bundaberg Telstra team manager Andrew Rankine at South Kolan. Mike Knott BUN180517MOBILE5

Some of Bundy's worst mobile black spots fixed

THEY are some of Bundaberg's worst mobile phone black spots, where reception is akin to being on the moon.

But thanks to the Queensland Government's co-funding arrangement with Telstra residents at Buxton, South Kolan, Burnett Heads and Rosedale will soon be able to connect to a new 4G cell.

They along with cells in 35 other regional communities across Queensland will be installed over the next year, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said yesterday.

"Mobile phone black spots have been a huge concern for many regional communities, with poor coverage presenting serious safety concerns,” Ms Enoch said at South Kolan.

"From farm and road accidents to natural disasters, bushfires and floods, it is critical we stay connected.

"Local businesses are also hurting, so with this being Queensland Small Business Week, the new 4G cells will not only boost phone coverage but confidence levels.”

The Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation worked with local councils and Telstra to identify areas that have previously suffered from limited-to-no mobile phone coverage.

A small cell is a miniature version of a standard mobile base station.

Each small cell will provide 4G mobile connectivity over a coverage footprint of about 200 to 300m.

The 4G small cells will deliver coverage to hundreds more premises and are in addition to 144 mobile base stations secured under the state's $24 million co-investment in the Australian Government's Mobile Black Spot Program.

The mobile base stations secured under MBSP will provide coverage to more than 20,000 premises, including houses, businesses, schools and government offices.

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said funding contributed by the Queensland Government is providing local residents and small business operators with reliable communication.

"Black spots are a major issue for rural and remote communities, and these new cells will certainly help bring an end to unwelcome drop-outs,” she said.

Telstra area general manager May Boisen said the small cells will open digital doors in mobile black spots.

"As the carrier with the nation's largest mobile footprint and the first to bring 4G mobile services to regional Australia, we know how important high-speed mobile is to local communities and businesses,” Ms Boisen said

"In many of these town centres, you currently can't even make a voice call, so the recent enablement of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) on our small cells is also an exciting addition.

"Customers with compatible handsets and devices will not only be able to make calls in the region for the first time, they'll be clearer and connected faster, all while continuing to use fast mobile internet.”