Optus makes picking the right mobile phone easier for its regional and rural customers.
For years, Telstra has given mobile phones the Blue Tick if they perform well in non-metropolitan areas. Now Optus is coming to the party with its 'Top Pick for our Regional Coverage' badge.
Optus points out that certain handsets can provide an even better coverage experience in regional areas, especially for customers who are not close to the nearest base station. Design features affecting coverage include the built-in internal antenna, material casing and even the phone's size.
The first dozen devices to get the Top Pick badge include phones from Apple, LG, Microsoft, Samsung, Huawei and Oppo.
Specific models include the Apple iPhone 6s Plus, LG G5, Microsoft Lumia 650 and Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge (all available on postpaid plans), and the Huawei Y3II and Oppo F1 (on prepaid).
One potential issue is that Optus's badge is less conspicuous than its Telstra equivalent, and therefore not so obvious when scanning through the lists of available models.
Another is that we found the Top Pick badges disappeared when we changed the sort order of the phones displayed in Optus's online store.
"Our new device certification demonstrates our commitment to providing regional Australians our best handset choice for mobile coverage in their area to deliver an optimal experience," said Optus acting managing director of networks Dennis Wong.
"Our team will be constantly testing new handsets and we expect the range to grow as manufacturers release new devices."
Optus has been working to improve its mobile coverage of regional Australia, including adding more than 700 regional and holiday towns to its 4G footprint. Earlier this year it spent $196 million on regional 1800MHz licences.
"Once we take full ownership of these new spectrum licenses, we will be in a strong position to further strengthen our coverage footprint across rural and regional Australia," said Wong.