Three-year audit to map mobile phone black spots

Mobile phone tower. | Newsreel
An audit is underway to identify mobile black spots. | Photo: Devon Wilson (iStock)

An audit to identify Australia’s mobile phone black spots is underway.

Accenture has been contracted by the Federal Government to undertake the audit, which began with collating crowd-sourced data from 150,000 active mobile users across Australia.

That data has now been released and an on-the-ground pilot audit started, which involves testing at thee three locations and along three roads in each state and territory over a three-month period.

Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the locations for the pilot were chosen because of concerns about mobile coverage and performance, including a need to understand the impact of changing seasonal demands like tourism.

The pilot audit will be followed by a main audit of 180,000km of regional and rural roads every year for three years.

Minister Rowland said the audit aimed to better identify mobile coverage black spots across Australia to help target future investment and to provide an independent resource that better reflects on ground experiences of mobile coverage.

She said under the main audit, Accenture would also place mobile detection devices in up to 77 towns across all states and territories to get a more detailed understanding of changes to coverage.

Data collected through drive-testing and in static locations will be released in phases as pilot and main audit data becomes available.

The Audit will measure coverage and performance across Optus, Telstra and TPG, and also cover 3G (while it is available), 4G and 5G services.

More information can be found on the Federal Government website.