Telstra has worked with Optus and TPG Telecom to carry out a successful domestic network roaming test at its Gold Coast 5G Innovation Centre, which the carrier said could be used in emergency situations like disasters. The move comes after increased government scrutiny on domestic roaming after Optus’s national outage in November 2023. 

The big three operators have made strong arguments against enabling domestic roaming, pointing out that roamers may crash other networks during a disaster, compounding communications problems. Telstra emphasised that the trial showed such roaming could be achieved for a finite time and geographical area. Initially, such roaming will be limited to texts and voice calls but the operator hinted that some small data usage may be acceptable for things like messaging apps.

In the temporary data roaming simulation, the operator said it took lessons from similar moves in Canada, Japan and the US, particularly around taking into account the stress it would put on any surviving networks, and the technical work required to get it going. Telstra said it been working with the government, TPG and Optus to develop a temporary disaster roaming solution since March 2023. 

In Australia, the ability to call Triple Zero emergency is a functionality that’s already built into mobile phones.

Original article can be seen at: