Vodafone flicks on the switch for mobile coverage in Bicheno and Bothwell

Vodafone takes its network expansion to regional Tasmania

Vodafone Australia and the Minister for Regional Communications, Senator Fiona Nash, today announced that 4G services1 are now available in Bicheno and Bothwell in Tasmania.

Under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, Vodafone’s network investment in Bicheno and Bothwell brings improved mobile phone coverage along major transport routes including the Tasman Highway in Bicheno, and Highland Lakes Road and Hollowtree Road in Bothwell.

The new Bicheno site provides about 106 square kilometres of additional coverage that will extend to more than 1,100 households in Douglas River, Friendly Beaches, Seymour, Chain of Lagoons, parts of Douglas-Apsley National Park, and Coles Bay Road, which leads to Freycinet National Park.

The Bothwell site provides 144 square kilometres of additional coverage including 300 households within Bothwell and other regional areas including Lower Marches, Hollow Tree, and surrounding state forests.

The Bicheno and Bothwell sites are two of 17 new sites that will be built in Tasmania by Vodafone by the end of 2017 under the Mobile Black Spot Program.

Vodafone Chief Technology Officer, Kevin Millroy, said Vodafone’s new sites in Bicheno and Bothwell are part of the company’s continued network investment to support growing demand for advanced mobile devices and services in Tasmania.

“Vodafone is committed to building network infrastructure that will help fuel economic growth and jobs, and enable customers to quickly access the applications, services and content that matter most to them,” said Mr Millroy.

“More than ever before, customers look to mobile communications to stay in touch with family, friends and business colleagues. Customers in Bicheno and Bothwell will now benefit from enhanced coverage and network performance.”

According to a recent study by Deloitte[1], more than 79 per cent of Australian adults own a smartphone, and 86 per cent of Australians use smartphones to access the internet.

Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash said round one of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program would deliver 499 mobile phone towers covering some 3,000 coverage black spots across the nation, extending coverage to 26,000 homes and businesses across 165,000 square kilometres.

“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and good telecommunications is a big part of that,” Minister Nash said.

“Being a farmer from central NSW myself, I know how important mobile coverage is and I’m proud the Coalition is delivering it to Bicheno and Bothwell.”

Vodafone customers “won’t need to upgrade their smartphone”

Mr Millroy said all the major smartphones already work on Vodafone’s low-band 4G 850MHz network, including the popular iPhone and Samsung GALAXY models.

“What it means for customers is that they’ll notice the 4G or LTE symbol on their phone more often,” said Mr Millroy.

Low-band spectrum, such as 850MHz, is well suited to providing high quality indoor mobile coverage as the lower frequency signal penetrates buildings better than higher frequency signals. Low-band spectrum is also well suited to providing coverage over broad areas in regional parts of Australia.

Risk-free network user trial

To encourage people in Bicheno and Bothwell to trial its network, Vodafone is offering new customers a money-back 30 Day Network Satisfaction Guarantee.2

Under the 30 Day Network Satisfaction Guarantee, if a new postpaid customer is not satisfied with Vodafone’s network within the first 30 days, they can cancel their contract, no questions asked. Vodafone will also refund any monthly access fees and monthly handset instalments paid by the customer as long as the equipment and device are returned to a Vodafone store within 10 days of making the claim. The 30 Day Network Satisfaction Guarantee is also available for business customers with up to 9 connections.

In conjunction with the revamped 30 Day Network Satisfaction Guarantee, Vodafone is also offering unlimited data3 for the first month to new customers who sign up to a selected 12 or 24 month phone plan to use within Australia.

Mr Millroy said the company’s new network guarantee demonstrates that Vodafone is prepared to walk the talk on network satisfaction and ultimately put the power in people’s hands.

“Our new guarantee is an invitation for Australians who may be feeling unsatisfied with their current provider to experience everything Vodafone has to offer,” said Mr Millroy.

“We have invested significantly in our 4G network in recent years, and Vodafone’s 4G network is performing better than ever. We are proud to offer a guarantee which demonstrates our commitment to being transparent about our network performance. With our new program, people don’t need to take our word for it, they can experience the difference for themselves.”

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Notes to editors:

Vodafone’s interactive regional mobile investment map includes the locations and timings of the 102 sites in regional areas it is building by the end of 2017.

1: Our 4G coverage is available in all major metro locations and selected regional areas across Australia. 4G is available with a 4G device and an active prepaid recharge or plan with Vodafone Alerts. See Vodafone.com.au/coverage for availability

2: If you’ve signed up to any new plan and you don’t love our network within the first 30 days, you’re welcome to cancel by calling 1300551198. You must pay for what you’ve used (incl Mobile Payment Plans) up until your number is fully transferred and device and equipment in original packaging with proof of purchase returned to a Vodafone (not dealer) store within 10 days of your claim. One claim per person. Accessories not refunded. This guarantee does not affect any other rights or remedies you may have under consumer law. Full terms and conditions at vodafone.com.au/guarantee.

3: Personal Use Only. Available until 30/06/17 for new customers signing up to a 12 or 24-month plan (excludes Business Shared Infinite, Business Flex, Red Business Shared & Red Business Grow and upgrades). If you perform a Rate Plan Change during the unlimited data period, your eligibility ceases & additional data fees will apply. Fair Use Policy applies: see www.vodafone.com.au/aboutvodafone/legal/fairusepolicy. For the first billing month any additional data usage within Australia will be free.

[1] Deloitte Mobile Consumer Study 2015.