Small cell 3G 4G 5G tower.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has delivered new mobile network infrastructure to North Star and Gurley in New South Wales, to improve connectivity for trains on the Inland Rail, as well as nearby residents and businesses. 

The new mobile tower at North Star will be further upgraded with a new high-speed backhaul link, delivered in September, to further improve service quality.

Another two local towers will be activated in the coming months at a total cost of $3.4 million to deliver operational connectivity for trains running on the track in the section and to also enhance mobile telecommunications in the rural locations.

The new 50m mobile tower at North Star, 90km northeast of Moree, and the upgraded Gurley base station, 30km south of Moree, will now deliver improved depth of coverage and performance to local homes and businesses, with the fibre backhaul to both also being upgraded to deliver additional capacity.

Telstra is expecting to turn on the new 4G small cell at Croppa Creek, 60km northeast of Moree, in early June and is also planning to begin work on a new mobile tower at Crooble, also around 60km northeast of Moree, in the coming weeks that will deliver new coverage for local homes and businesses.

All the new and upgraded infrastructure being rolled out is being fitted with 5G capable antennae, meaning that local homes and businesses will be able to receive 5G services without additional network upgrades being required in the future.

Inland Rail Acting Chief Executive, Rebecca Pickering, said ARTC Inland Rail is delighted to see these upgraded and new mobile base stations up and running.

“We are committed to doing what we can to benefit communities beyond freight logistics and rail infrastructure – that includes providing additional opportunity for regional development,” Ms Pickering said. 

“Inland Rail is being predominantly delivered in regional Australia, meaning there is a prime opportunity for regional Australia to reap the immediate benefits that come with construction.”

The work, which is funded by Inland Rail and being delivered by Telstra, will form part of the legacy the Inland Rail project will leave with communities along the alignment to benefit from the improvements for years to come.

Telstra NSW Regional General Manager, Mike Makrom, said more than ever before Australians are relying on mobile coverage every day for work, education and connecting on social media.

“In partnership with ARTC Inland Rail, we are rapt to have upgraded our mobile base stations at Gurley and North Star to expand network capacity and improve performance to the local area for these communities.”

As the mobile telecommunications enhancements are rolled out, Telstra will manage the ongoing operations and maintenance once the infrastructure has been delivered.

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