NT remote communities to get mobile signal

·1-min read

Twenty remote Indigenous communities will have constant 4G mobile signal for the first time under a new program being rolled out in the Northern Territory.

The NT government and Telstra will spend $5.8 million installing 20 small cell hubs in communities in the Barkly, Big Rivers, Central Australia, East Arnhem and Top End regions.

Each site will transmit over a one-to-1.5km radius using satellite signals and have a back-up power source.

NT Digital Development Minister Ngaree Ah Kit said telecommunications are vital for remote communities, with 47 already connected under previous co-investment programs.

"As a government, we recognise the economic and social value of these services, and their ability to help close the gap of Aboriginal disadvantage," she said in a statement.

"This partnership with Telstra demonstrates that we're getting on with the job of taking critical services to where they're needed the most."

Telstra's NT regional general manger Nic Danks said the company already had 160 satellite small cells delivering 4G across Australia.

"While Telstra provides mobile connectivity to more than 96 per cent of the NT population, its sheer size means there are large patches of the territory where there is no coverage," he said.

"However, providing regional connectivity is not just a Telstra responsibility - it's a challenge that must be shared between federal, state and local governments and with other telecommunications providers."

The 20 new hubs are expected to be installed by the end of 2023.

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