Source: Telstra
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  • The Federal Government has awarded $2 million in grants to Telstra (TLS), Optus and Pivotel as parts of a plan to boost rural communications
  • The Alternative Voice Services Trials (AVST) Program aims to test new types of services in regional Australia to see which are effective
  • As part of the plan, Optus will run 15 trial services at rural locations in NSW, Queensland and South Australia
  • Telstra will offer up to 300 trial services across Australia, including fixed voice services delivered using its 4G network and satellite
  • Finally, Pivotel will run 60 trial services at 30 different remote locations offering fully functional mobile handsets

The Federal Government has awarded grants to Telstra (TLS), Optus and Pivotel as part of a plan to boost rural telecommunications.

The Alternative Voice Services Trials (AVST) Program will funnel $2 million to telcos to trial new types of services in regional Australia to see which are effective.

As part of the latest tranche of funding, Telstra will offer up the most trials — a total of 300 services in various rural location across Australia.

The telco giant’s trial offerings will include fixed voice services delivered using its 4G network as well as voice services delivered over satellite

Satellite services company Pivotel will also run 60 trial services at 30 different remote locations offering fully functional mobile handsets which can make calls.

Finally, fellow leading telco Optus will run 15 trial services at multiple rural locations across NSW, Queensland and South Australia.

The services on offer from Optus will include fixed and mobile voice calls as well as optional broadband data access.

“While Optus, Pivotel and Telstra are already providing voice services across Australia, the grants will enable interested consumers to try out new types of services without additional cost,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said.

“To ensure that we get a service in the future that meets the needs of as many people as possible, it’s imperative that this technology is trialled in a range of conditions and locations,” he explained.

“I encourage rural people interested in trying this new technology and equipment to register their interest to take part in the trials,” the Minister added.

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