Winmalee residents are set to enjoy improved mobile phone coverage from the new year when Optus joins the existing Telstra tower at Summerhayes Park.
“This new Optus mobile site in Winmalee is expected to be live after Christmas and will improve reception for calls and texts and offer enhanced mobile services – such as internet browsing, news, finance, weather and traffic updates – for our customers in the area,” said an Optus spokeswoman.
“In assessing locations for new mobile sites, Optus uses customer feedback and our own analysis to identify the best area to ensure improved voice and data services for customers. In this instance Optus will co-locate on an existing site at Winmalee to minimise visual impact to the surrounding landscape.”
The news comes after Optus recently co-located on a site in North Katoomba to improve coverage in the Upper Mountains.
“Optus looks forward to continuing to invest in the Blue Mountains to improve mobile services for the local community,” said the spokeswoman.
Federal Macquarie MP Susan Templeman, who campaigned strongly on improving mobile phone coverage, welcomed the news, saying she “hoped it is the start of additional improvements”.
“When the Summerhayes Park tower was built, it was always envisaged that other phone companies would co-locate, so I am pleased to see it becoming a reality,” she said.
“Poor mobile coverage remains a big issue for the Mountains, exacerbated by the fact that when NBN rolls out to an area and landlines are eventually switched off, we will rely more on mobiles when the power to our homes fails.”
Springwood Optus Store manager Derek Conibear also welcomed the news, especially for bushfire prone areas like Winmalee where mobile coverage can become a safety issue. His store, which has been operating for 18 years, supplied about 100 mobile phones to residents who lost homes in the 2013 Winmalee-Yellow Rock bushfires.
“It’s great to be part of the community and be able to support local people,” he said.