Top tips to help improve mobile coverage in regional areas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telstra Area General Manager for Northern Australia Nic Danks has today outlined a range of personal device and technology options designed to help improve mobile coverage for customers in regional and remote areas.
Across Australia, Telstra has over 10,000 mobile base stations, providing mobile coverage to over 99.5% of the population and more than 2.5 million square kilometres, significantly greater than any other network,” said Mr Danks.
“However, even if there is a mobile base station within reasonable proximity to your property, obstructions such as buildings, vehicles, trees, hills and building materials can all reduce the signal level available for your mobile phones and devices.”
So while Telstra is working hard to improve regional coverage with new base stations and 4G satellite small cell technology, there are some options and low cost devices available to rural users that can help improve mobile coverage to their property or vehicle.
Select a Blue Tick Handset
Coverage on any mobile network depends on where you are, the mobile handset, tablet or mobile broadband device you're using, and whether there’s an external antenna attached. It's important to understand that different devices have different capabilities.
“Not all phones are created equal and some are better suited to regional Australia. Every phone Telstra sells undergoes a complex range of laboratory and field testing that includes voice quality, antenna sensitivity and data transmission,” said Mr Danks. “Those with the best possible coverage are labelled with a blue tick so look for this symbol when considering your next device if regional coverage is important.”
Bring mobile coverage into a home with Wi-Fi calling
If you live in an area that can’t connect to the Telstra Mobile Network but have internet at your home and a Wi-Fi connection, then you can make mobile phone calls through a phone setting called Wi-Fi Calling. It is a feature on many popular mobile phones and there are no additional monthly fees, with calls being charged at your standard call rate. While it doesn’t allow for SMS or video calling, Telstra Wi-Fi Calling provides voice calling in locations like back rooms where you may not have mobile coverage but your home Wi-Fi reaches.
Use a legal repeater
The Telstra Go is a mobile phone repeater that complies with Australian conditions and is available in two variants: a stationary version designed for customers seeking an in-building coverage solution, and a portable version designed for customers that want to improve coverage in their car, truck or boat. Operating on both the 3G and 4G services, the device works by receiving mobile signals through an external antenna and then enhancing and re-transmitting this signal to a single indoor or in-vehicle antenna to extend coverage.
The Telstra Mobile Smart Antenna is a repeater device suitable for residential premises when you can get mobile coverage outside but you struggle for coverage throughout the house. This is common in older properties with solid internal walls. It works by placing one part in a window or other indoor area that has some coverage and it then relays a signal to the second part located in a poor or no coverage area of the house, extending 3G and 4G coverage into that area.
External antennas (home and mobile)
There are a range of legal external antennas that can amplify the network signal where coverage is patchy for your mobile phone or home broadband device. While most mobile phones and broadband devices have built-in antennas, their performance is limited by the size of the device.
External antennas can dramatically improve your coverage, allowing you to connect to the Telstra Mobile Network from further away than normally possible, or in terrain that has limited coverage.
There are three main classifications of external gain antennas (Low to Medium, High and Very High), each designed for a different purpose. Low gain is a highly portable option, medium gain is good for in-building and fringe coverage areas, high gain helps with patchy coverage in flat terrain and very high gain antennas are mounted on tall structures and are directionally tuned to the nearest base station.
Improving at sea coverage
Finally, if you live near the coast and are looking for at-sea coverage, it’s good to know that Telstra's Mobile Network can often extend over 20 kilometres out to sea from mobile base stations located near the coast. However, factors such as the weather, tides, sea conditions and your antenna installation (type and height above sea level) can significantly influence coverage, data speed and performance and you must not rely on the Telstra Mobile Network as a primary method of communication at sea.
To assist with your mobile services when in your boat, you should use a directly connected external antenna – one that is omni-directional or a specialist marine antenna capable of 'tracking' to the best serving base station. The antenna should be mounted as high as possible using marine-grade cabling and connections.
All of these options will help improve your mobile coverage in areas where coverage is intermittent. However, If being able to maintain coverage at all times is essential and you work in areas with no mobile or fixed line coverage, then a satellite phone is your best option.
“For residents wanting to find out more about improving mobile coverage in regional areas, they should contact their nearest Telstra store, visit www.telstra.com.au or call 132 200,” said Mr Danks.
Telstra Media contact: Chris Marks- Telstra Public Affairs (SA and NT)
M: 0475 963 824
Media reference number: 133/2018
About Telstra Telstra is a leading telecommunications and information services company. We offer a full range of services and compete in all telecommunications markets in Australia, operating the largest mobile and Wi-Fi networks. Globally, we provide end-to-end solutions including managed network services, global connectivity, cloud, voice, colocation, conferencing and satellite solutions. We have licenses in Asia, Europe and the United States and offer access to more than 2,000 points of presence across the globe. For more information visit www.telstra.com.