OLYMPIC swimming legend Ian Thorpe was in Sale last week to announce a $4 million upgrade to Optus’ 4G mobile coverage in Sale and surrounds.
Thorpe joined Optus Gippsland regional market manager Jayson Grool at the opening of a new store in Sale, and to announce that in the next 12 months, Optus would build new sites at West Giffard, RAAF Base, East Sale, Woodside, north Sale and east Longford.
“These new sites will provide improved coverage for customers travelling to and from Sale, especially along the Princes Highway and the South Gippsland Highway,” Mr Grool said.
Optus recently upgraded coverage at Kilmany and activated new sites in Heyfield and West Sale to deliver improved indoor and outdoor mobile coverage, and faster download speeds for customers in the region.
Mr Thorpe said he often visited regional locations as an Optus ambassador, but as his visit to Sale was so rushed he would not be able to see much of the town.
He still maintains his interest in encouraging young people to learn how to swim.
“Yes, I mentor a few swimmers and I’m engaged with the Optus Junior Dolphins program,” he said.
“We aim to have 1 million children actively engaged in outside activity by 2020.
“The program is promoted through schools and community sports clubs with an emphasis on having fun, camaraderie and safety in sport,” he told the Gippsland Times.
Gippsland MHR Darren Chester attended the store’s official opening in Sale and welcomed Optus’ investment into improved mobile phone services across Gippsland.
“I commend Optus for its commitment to the Gippsland community in choosing to upgrade services and invest in the new Sale store,” he said.
In July, Optus announced plans to spend $1 billion to improve and expand its mobile network in regional Australia.
Mr Grool said last week’s announcement formed part of this pledge.
“We're really pleased to be able to offer customers in Sale and the Gippsland region more choice in mobile carriers, greater network coverage and faster mobile internet download services,” he said.
The Optus network handles more than 45 million calls and 80 million SMS messages each day, and carries 6000 terabytes of data each week.
Optus is continuing to expand and strengthen its network to deliver improved data and voice services across metropolitan, regional and remote locations nationally.