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TAS Country : November 18th 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010 Tasmanian Country 5 News Remote-area phones take off BRIAN WARD New satellites to boost services RURAL areas in Tasmania will get a boost to their mobile phone coverage, with the $1 billion installation of satellites across Australia. Globalstar Inc and its Australian telecommunications partner Pivotel re- cently launched the first six of 24 satellites to be located around Aust- ralia, which they say promise to herald a new era in rural mobile communi- cation. Pivotel managing director Peter Bol- ger said the project was ''a leap forward in satellite communication for all rural Australians''. ''It is essential that there is an open and equitable telecommunications en- vironment that encourages and sup- ports investments in new infrastruc- ture to deliver services into the vast under-served areas of the country,'' Mr Bolger said. He said that Pivotel had already established a few clients in rural Tasmania, and he expected that there would be more once the satellite services were made available. ''Pivotel has a number of customers operating in remote areas in Tasmania and we expect a significant uplift, particularly in the area of mobile satellite data for telemetry, when the services are released,'' Mr Bolger said. The technology will lead to data speeds increasing from the current 9.6kbps to 256kbps on a mobile satellite, allowing rural Australians to enjoy extended coverage, with less chance of voice delay and the development of new handset technology. And Mr Bolger said the satellites would be a boon for rural Tasmania. ''As new data speeds are introduced, Globalstar services will be ideal for remote telemetry, providing monitor- ing solutions for the significant amount of plant and infrastructure used in remote industries in Tasmania,'' he said. ''These types of remote telemetry solutions increase productivity and efficiency by increasing asset visibility and reducing down-time, ultimately improving Tasmanian industry. ''The Globalstar network also sup- ports the SPOT Satellite GPS Messen- ger, which is ideal for an adventurer's playground like Tasmania.'' DROP-OUT: David Gatenby says his phone is lucky to not be at the bottom of a dam. Picture: ROSS MARSDEN Good news to land of lost calls JENNIFER CRAWLEY TASMANIAN Farmers and Graziers Association president David Gatenby says the installation of more satellites is a real positive for farmers. ''That is fantastic news,'' Mr Gatenby said. ''Our reception is very, very average.'' There are only two places on Mr Gatenby's farm west of Campbell Town under the Western Tiers where he gets mobile reception -- on top of the hill or on his veranda. ''I can come to my phone and have five or six missed calls of a morning just because no one can reach me,'' he said. ''When the voice messages come through I go to the parts of the farm where I know I can pick them up.'' Mr Gatenby said places such as Smithton, Oatlands and parts of the Highlands also suffered from poor reception. ''There are loggers in the Highlands who need reception for safety reasons,'' he said. ''We rely on them so much.'' Mr Gatenby said there needed to be a lot more work done before farmers had full mobile coverage. ''I haven't been in a situation where I've been in danger but I don't know how many times I've been going to throw this phone into the dam,'' he said. ''You're halfway through a conversation and then, whoops, and you go.'' Mr Gatenby said telecommunications giant Telstra was putting in 20 towers around the state to address poor mobile reception. ''It is very frustrating in this modern world,'' he said. SilaFARM Silage Wrap Bailing Twine Grain Bags Pit Cover Bale Net www.ipstretch.com Grant Lethborg Tasmanian Area Manager T: 0413 949 035 Smithton | Wynyard | Ulverstone Devonport | She eld | Deloraine Launceston | Prospect | Hobart Flinders Island | Scottsdale Legerwood | Campbelltown Bridgewater | Huonville | Oatlands Now available at your local Roberts store! www.robertsltd.com.au We go to greater lengths... to protect your harvest investment.
November 11th 2010
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