Mt Sylvia connects via 3G for first time

SWITCHED ON: Optus Queensland retail manager Mark O’Shea with Mt Sylvia resident Dale Metcalf.
SWITCHED ON: Optus Queensland retail manager Mark O’Shea with Mt Sylvia resident Dale Metcalf. Claudia Baxter

OPTUS has switched on a new dedicated 3G mobile tower at Mt Sylvia in the Lockyer Valley - marking the first time the area has had permanent 3G mobile coverage.

After extensive work by Optus during the 2011 Queensland floods to support residents with mobile satellite phones and a temporary mobile facility, the need for permanent coverage in the area was identified.

In consultation with the Mt Sylvia community and the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Optus has now completed the construction and switch-on of a 50m mobile tower.

David Epstein, of Optus, said the devastating floods highlighted the important role mobile telecommunications played in helping emergency services and communities during crisis and recovery.

"No one wants to be out of touch with family, friends, or loved ones at the best of times, let alone isolated during natural disasters such as flood events," Mr Epstein said on Saturday.

"With today's mobile tower launch, the community of Mt Sylvia will have access to mobile calls, SMS, social media, email, apps - all available in more places than ever before.

"Working together with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council and energy partner Energex, our network deployment team negotiated some particularly difficult geography to get this new tower up in advance of the coming summer."

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said that in light of the challenges posed by local terrain, the switch-on of the Optus permanent 3G mobile coverage in Mt Sylvia was especially welcomed by the community.

"Before Optus came to town, Mt Sylvia had to rely purely on landline service," Mr Jones said.

"With a permanent mobile tower serving the area, we hope to be less isolated in times of natural disaster.

"Residents can take advantage of things like email, social media and mobile apps, while businesses can operate more flexibly."



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