Telstra’s upgrade of Narooma mobile base station as part of 4G upgrade and 5G rollout to bring temporary disruptions

Media Release, 11 October 2021

Telstra will next week be finalising the upgrade of its mobile base station in Narooma to bring better 4G services and new 5G coverage, but the works will require a series of temporary outages or reduction in mobile coverage.  

These improvements will temporarily impact Telstra 3G and 4G coverage at various times during daylight hours between Monday 18 October and Sunday 24 October. 

Telstra mobile customers may start receiving text messages advising them of the upcoming work to improve 4G capacity and bringing 5G services to the Narooma area for the first time from late this week.  

Landline services, NBN internet services and mobile coverage from other providers will not be impacted. 

Any calls to Triple Zero from a Telstra mobile when the site is off air will automatically be diverted to any working mobile network for connection to emergency services.

Regional General Manager for Telstra, Chris Taylor, said while our crews need to work during daylight for safety, we’ll only be switching off the site when we need to and have it back on as quickly as possible.

“Where possible we will just be switching off the parts of the tower we are working on, leaving the rest operational. While coverage and capacity will decline during this time, we want to keep total blackouts to an absolute minimum. 

“Telstra does have other base stations located close by in Kianga and Tilba which will help provide some coverage, but most of our mobile coverage for this area does come from the Narooma base station so there will be some impact.”

“There’s never a good time to undertake this sort of work but once it is completed, it will mean better mobile services for local residents, particularly as we approach the peak holiday season” Mr Taylor said.

Tips for improving connectivity while works are underway

For mobile coverage in the interim, if residents have access to a wi-fi signal at home or at work, Telstra encourages residents to activate wi-fi calling. This is a free setting on most popular mobile phones and allows your mobile to use a Wi-Fi network to make and receive mobile calls. To find out more they can google Telstra wifi calling or just search in your settings icon on your phone.

We know many businesses use the Telstra network for their EFTPOS terminals. However, Telstra does not operate the EFTPOS network; it is operated by financial institutions. Many EFTPOS terminals can also be connected using fixed line or Wi-Fi/nbn internet connections. Retailers should contact their bank for more information and details on how to switch between these methods to ensure continuous service.

Long term benefits of the site upgrade

The roll out of 5G connectivity for the first time in Narooma means customers with Telstra 5G mobile devices will be able to enjoy a better mobile experience. The upgrade also brings added benefits for customers on the Telstra 4G network with more capacity, providing better network connectivity and less congestion in Narooma when it’s busier.

“We know our mobile network on the south coast takes a hammering over summer with the influx of additional tourists, so this upgrade should help provide a better experience this year,” Mr Taylor said.  

This work is part of Telstra’s ongoing investment across the region delivering upgraded 4G and 5G services, including areas already completed like Batemans Bay, Bega, Bermagui, Moruya and Tathra.

“We’re continuing to expand our 5G network across New South Wales and nationally we’re adding new sites to the network every week. Upgrades such as these continue to demonstrate Telstra’s ongoing commitment to regional Australia,” Mr Taylor said.

Once completed, Narooma will join more than 3,700 Telstra 5G sites on-air in more than 200 cities and towns across Australia. 5G coverage is also available in more than 2,700 suburbs across the country. More than 75% per cent of Australia’s population now lives in Telstra’s 5G footprint.

Editor’s Note

The Telstra mobile base station is located on the water tank on Wagonga St. Initial work on the upgrade began in early September but was put on hold due to the lockdown. We recognised the importance of connectivity during that time so we did what work we could that didn’t involve disrupting connectivity and then put it on hold until now. 

For customers wishing to access 5G on the Telstra network, they will need a 5G capable device and have a Telstra 5G phone plan, so for some people, that may mean upgrading their current device. 



Telstra Media contact:

Chris Marks


Media reference number: 132/2021