Farmers encouraged to take advantage of phone coverage trials

AUSTRALIAN wireless networking company Zetifi has issued a call out for farmers in New South Wales and northern Victoria to help with a trial program to improve rural phone services.
Farmers encouraged to take advantage of phone coverage trials Farmers encouraged to take advantage of phone coverage trials Farmers encouraged to take advantage of phone coverage trials Farmers encouraged to take advantage of phone coverage trials Farmers encouraged to take advantage of phone coverage trials

Zetifi CEO Dan Winson and some of his staff. Picture courtesy Jackie Cooper.

Staff writer

Expressions of interest are being sought for trialling Zetifi solutions, as part of a Federal Government-backed program to provide better phone services for rural and remote areas.

Wagga Wagga, New South Wales-based Zetifi recently received funding under the Morrison Government's $2 million Alternative Voice Services Trial (AVST) Program, which aims to find new ways to deliver voice services within NBN Co's fixed wireless and satellite footprints.

It seeks to identify new providers and the potential for alternative technologies to provide better services and functionality.

Zetifi founder and chief executive officer Dan Winson explained that instead of relying solely on their current mobile, satellite or high-capacity radio concentrator (HCRC) coverage to make voice calls, Zetifi will provide a multi-carrier connection so that triallists can confidently use Wi-Fi Calling to make calls, even when the household has poor or no mobile cellular coverage.

While Wi-Fi Calling is not a new innovation, the maturity of the technology has made it an attractive alternative to traditional voice services for those living in areas with poor or patchy mobile coverage.

The increased reliability and resilience of Zetifi's ruggedised Wi-Fi means that rural and remote residents are less reliant on their proximity to mobile towers and other network infrastructure.

"Many of us living in highly populated areas take our phone service or mobile coverage for granted but that's not the case for many people in rural and remote areas. The disruptions caused by the current pandemic, combined with more people wanting to work from rural and remote areas, have only emphasised the need for reliable connectivity," Winson said.

"We're keen to hear from farmers who are interested in taking part in these trials. By providing these farmers with a Zetifi Wi-Fi network, which enable them to make Wi-Fi calls, we're aiming to prove that our technology can not only provide a solution to poor mobile coverage but provide a stable and reliable replacement for the legacy radio and copper network in rural and remote areas."

The program will provide 50 farmers with access to a fully subsidised hardware installation and a 12-month subscription to Zetifi solutions to help them access better connectivity for Wi-Fi calls.

Forty farmers will receive a ZetiBase, which predominantly provides indoor Wi-Fi for areas where weak mobile signals cannot penetrate the residence. The remaining 10 trial participants will be provided with a ZetiCell, a longer-range solution for areas with very poor coverage with a 300m radius of outdoor Wi-Fi and the option to extend connectivity to sheds, yards and across the farm.

The company is looking to have all 50 units installed and ready to use by 31 May.
The AVST Program will last for 12 months and participants will be able to continue their service and subscription at the conclusion of the trial.

To register interest in the program, email hello@zetifi.com or call 1300 093 711. For further information about Zetifi solutions visit https://zetifi.com/

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