The federal government has awarded financial grants to regional-based telcos Concerotel and Zetifi, as well as NBN Co, to trial voice services across Australia.
The telcos received grants under the $2 million Alternative Voice Services Trials (AVST) Program, which was led by communications minister Paul Fletcher. The trials aim to find better ways to deliver voice services to consumers.
NBN Co will run 260 trials across its fixed wireless and satellite networks, as well as trialling a low band fixed wireless solution. Concerotel will deliver up to 200 trials in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island, while Zetifi will run 50 trials for wi-fi calling for farms in rural and remote areas of New South Wales and northern Victoria.
“The trials are a great opportunity for new players to demonstrate new ways to provide better voice services, more in line with changing consumer needs particularly for greater mobility,” Fletcher said.
“I’m particularly pleased to see two small, innovative companies – Concerotel and Zetifi – in this first tranche of grants.”
Concerotel is based out of Sippy Downs in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Region while Zetifi is based in Wagga Wagga, NSW.
The government is currently finalising grant agreements with other shortlisted applicants and expects to make further announcements.