BAI Communications Australia (BAI) will lead one of four working groups to scope development and delivery of improved rural and regional mobile coverage in NSW.
Led by the Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW), the Mobile Coverage Program’s (MCP) Active Sharing Partnership brings together infrastructure providers and mobile network operators (MNOs) to collaboratively develop commercial and delivery models of four active sharing options:
Results from phase one of the partnership will inform the design and delivery of the MCP’s $300 million investment that is focused on improving mobile coverage in Regional NSW.
BAI will focus on the program’s ORAN stream, working closely with representatives from Optus and NEC.
ORAN is the latest innovation in 4G and 5G base station technology; it uses open standards and clearly defines interoperability requirements for various components of the Radio Access Network to support sharing (for both MORAN and MOCN) and integrating infrastructure and equipment. The use of ORAN delivers a flexible software-based solution, avoids vendor lock-in and leverages the ongoing improvements in server hardware performance. These factors are expected to provide implementation and operational cost benefits in the delivery of mobile networks over the next decade.
“BAI is well positioned to add meaningful value in the ORAN stream. We have a demonstrable track record of successfully partnering with government and multiple stakeholders to deliver neutral host solutions using infrastructure and emerging technologies. BAI also understands the complexities of hard-to-service areas — we are already relied on to keep broadcast services on-air across rural, regional and remote communities and during emergencies as the operator of the NSW Government’s Public Safety Network,” said Peter Lambourne, Chief Executive Officer, BAI.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said regional communities deserve reliable and affordable mobile services.
“The NSW Government is committed to trialling innovative approaches to ensure our regional communities have access to high standard mobile coverage, no matter where they live.
“Network sharing reduces the need to build additional mobile towers across the landscape, reduces costs for telecommunications providers and ensures everyone can access their mobile phone no matter their provider,” he said.
The ORAN working group is currently designing a pilot program that can be deployed to several blackspot sites across Regional NSW. Preliminary commercial and delivery models were presented to DRNSW in June, with technical solutions and refined commercial and deployment models to be presented in August. Following the NSW Government’s evaluation, groups with viable solutions aligned to the project’s objectives may be invited to submit detailed proposals for funding to implement their active sharing solution(s) later in 2022.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/esmehelit
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