Telstra works on Robinvale mobile base station as part of 4G upgrade and 5G rollout to bring temporary disruptions

Media Release, 08 October 2021

A structural and technology upgrade to Telstra’s mobile base station in Robinvale later this month will require a week-long series of temporary outages or reduction in mobile coverage while the work is underway. 

These long-term improvements will impact Telstra 3G and 4G coverage at various times during daylight hours for a week beginning on Tuesday, 19 October. Barring unforeseen issues, all structural and network upgrades will be completed by Tuesday, 26 October.  

Telstra mobile customers may start receiving text messages advising them of the upcoming work from mid-next 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.

Located in Herbert St, the 45.7 m high steel lattice tower was built in 2006 and carries a range of telecommunications equipment. Besides increasing the structural strength of the tower, Telstra is upgrading the capacity of the 4G network and bringing 5G services to the Robinvale area for the first time.

“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,” said Steve Tinker, Regional General Manager for Telstra in Western Victoria.

“Due to the tower strengthening required, this site upgrade is biggest we have had to do in the Sunraysia area as part of our 4G upgrade and 5G rollout program.

“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 another base station 10 minutes away at Tol Tol, but most of Telstra’s coverage for this area does come from the Robinvale base station so there will be some impact.” Mr Tinker said.

“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.”

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

It’s really exciting to roll out 5G connectivity for the first time in Robinvale, meaning customers with Telstra 5G mobile devices can now enjoy a better mobile experience,” said Mr Tinker.

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.

This work is part of Telstra’s ongoing investment across the region delivering upgraded 4G and 5G services, including areas already completed like Merbein, Red Cliffs, Mildura, Irymple, Swan Hill, Lake Boga and Barham/ Koondrook.

The 5G upgrades also brings added benefits for customers on the Telstra 4G network. As part of installing 5G, Telstra has upgraded capacity on the existing 4G network, which means better connectivity and less congestion on the Telstra mobile network in these places when it’s busier.

“We’re continuing to expand our 5G network across Victoria 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 Tinker said.

Once completed, Robinvale 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.


Telstra Media contact:

Chris Marks


reference number: 131/2021