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WirelessWest - improving mobile phone coverage in WA.



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WirelessWest-improving mobile phone coverage in WA

The Federal Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today welcomed the launch of WirelessWest-a joint initiative delivering improved mobile phone coverage to the South West land division of Western Australia.

The Commonwealth Government, Western Australian Government and Telstra have invested $7 million each towards the program that will see an additional 45 CDMA mobile base stations constructed over the next 18 months.

The towns of Calingiri, Merredin and Beaufort River are today celebrating their improved mobile phone coverage as a result of the program, with mobile phone calls placed to these locations at the launch in Perth today.

WirelessWest is a further demonstration of how the Commonwealth Government is further improving telecommunications services in regional Australia.

Since 1997, over $1 billion in funding has been committed to improving communications and information technology services, infrastructure, mainly in regional, rural and remote Australia. Funding for improvements to mobile telephony includes more than $40 million for mobile funding under the Networking the Nation program, $25 million for the Mobile Phones on Highways program, $50.5 million for the Regional Mobile Phone program and funding to improve mobile phone coverage in 132 towns with populations of more than 500.

WirelessWest is an initiative of the $50.5 million Regional Mobile Phone program as part of the Government's response to the Telecommunications Service Inquiry.

WirelessWest is one of the largest regional mobile phone infrastructure developments in Western Australia and, when completed, CDMA mobile phone coverage will be available to towns and communities south of Geraldton, south east to Kalgoorlie and south to Esperance. It will cover also many roads and highways that do not currently have CDMA coverage, including the Midlands Road, South Coast Highway and the Coolgardie Esperance Highway.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe 02 6277 7480 or 0409 445 246 Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

137/02 12 June 2002

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