The telco is extending mobile coverage in a dozen remote locations in the Northern Territory.
Optus is launching small, satellite-based cells for remote areas as an inexpensive, flexible alternative to traditional mobile towers.
Locations of these Optus 'small cells' will include places along the Stuart Highway from Katherine to Uluru, key roadhouses and other popular spots – specifically Mataranka, Daly Waters, Ormiston Pound Ranger Station, Elliott, Renner Springs, Three Ways, Barkly Homestead, Wycliffe Well, Barrow Creek, Ti Tree, Erldunda and Curtin Springs.
Some locations were chosen in part because they currently have no mobile service at all.
"This initiative is about delivering a choice in mobile services for workers and residents in and around these key locations, and enabling a 'check-in' capability for passing traffic such as travelling workers, truckies and tourists," said Optus Networks acting managing director Dennis Wong.
The small cells have a range of up to 3km, and are connected to the rest of the network via Optus satellite. This makes it more affordable for Optus to provide coverage in remote areas.
The technology was successfully trialled at Oodnadatta, South Australia.