Mobile Coverage Project

The NSW Government has committed $300 million from the Regional Digital Connectivity program for the Mobile Coverage Project, to be delivered across multiple stages.

Aim of the program

The Mobile Coverage project will invest in new mobile infrastructure, increase competition, consumer choice, and deliver improved mobile coverage where people live and work in rural and regional NSW. 

Stage 1 of the Mobile Coverage Project will invest $50 million to develop active sharing partnerships with the telecommunications industry.  

Active Sharing Partnership program

Earlier this year, a ‘Request for Proposal’ tender process invited submissions from telecommunications providers interested in forming a partnership with the government to design active sharing solutions. The tender closed in February 2022.

Following the tender evaluation, eight organisations were selected to participate in the Active Sharing Partnership program. 

How will the Active Sharing Partnership work?

NSW is the first jurisdiction in Australia to work with industry to develop active sharing partnerships to benefit rural and regional communities.

Eight organisations will participate in a 14-week design phase where they will form partnerships to trial innovative network sharing solutions across four network categories. 

The eight organisations include: Optus, Telstra, TPG Telecom, BAI Communications, Field Solutions Group, Infrastructure Logic, NEC and Pivotel Mobile. 

As part of the design phase, each team will demonstrate how their active sharing solutions align to the project’s overarching objectives: 

  • increase competition and consumer choice; 
  • reduce the network set-up and asset costs to individual telecommunications providers; 
  • enable adoption of new technologies, such as 5G; and
  • deliver an improved mobile phone service that can maintain coverage through the harsher elements of the Australian climate, like fire and floods.

Next steps

Following the 14-week design phase, the NSW Government will evaluate each active sharing solution. Teams with viable solutions that are aligned to the project’s objectives will be invited to submit detailed proposals for funding to implement their active sharing solution later in 2022.

Results from the Active Sharing Partnership design phase will inform future investment decisions for the Mobile Coverage project that is focused on implementing innovative solutions to improve mobile coverage along road corridors, in small population centres, and key tourism locations.

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