Trials of rural and remote voice services set to begin

Trials to identify better ways of delivering voice services in regional and remote Australia via the internet will begin shortly.

As part of the Commonwealth’s $2 million Alternative Voice Services Trials (AVST) Program, NBN Co and two smaller telecommunications companies, ConceroTel and Zetifi, have been selected to conduct the new trials.

NBN Co will deliver up to 260 trial voice services, including across its fixed wireless and satellite networks, as well as trialling a low band fixed wireless solution.

ConceroTel will deliver up to 200 trial voice services in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island, providing better VOIP services to mobile phones reliant on satellite links.

Zetifi will deliver up to 50 trial voice services to provide improved Wi-Fi calling for farms in rural and remote areas of NSW and northern Victoria that currently experience poor mobile coverage.

The companies are the first three grant recipients under the AVST Program, which was announced as part of the federal government’s response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee. Further announcements about trials are expected shortly.

Consumers wishing to take part in the trials can register with the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.