Mobile Phone Coverage Warning.

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 16:46
ThreadID: 104639 Views:4150 Replies:13 FollowUps:20
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Hi,
Recently our friends at Telstra decided that they were not charging me enough for Mobile,home & internet bundle.
Shopping around came up with a couple of packages that I was comfortable with.

Package A Home & Internet.
\
Package B Mobile. Offering Telstra coverage, 98.5% of Australia via the 3G & 2G networks okay I can handle the slower speed.

On a recent trip to Western QLD, NW SA & NT. had very little coverage past Dalby
Some in Roxby Downs .
Rang the company from Birdsville was told my handset was probably faulty.
The result companies buying wholesale from Telstra are not getting the full Telstra coverage.
Did not affect me greatly as I carry a sat phone and only wanted the mobile as a convenience. Could Affect the next person though.
Limited service was available (000). though.

Regards
Mike
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Reply By: snow - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:04

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:04
Yes, I had a giggle the other day after passing Belyando Crossing (Qld), heading north there is a sign with a phone number to call regarding road problems...unfortunately that area must be in that 1.5% of Australia.
AnswerID: 519393

Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:08

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:08
Hi Michael, It is not 98.5%of Australia, it is 98.5% of the population and 6% of the country.
AnswerID: 519394

Follow Up By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:28

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:28
Andy
You are correct and I did know that but rushed into the post after an annoying phone call.
Mike.
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Reply By: BUSH CAMPER - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:10

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:10
I am with Telstra, travelled for 9 weeks with very limited service, rang bimbo in the Asia and complained about the service, I said adds were misleading, received $75.00 credit.
She did say that there are a lot more towers being built, so maybe next year will be better.
AnswerID: 519395

Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:57

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:57
oh yea people bag indian call centres but since telstra went indian I call up and someone promptly answers, my issues gget sorted nearlt straight way and they nearly always give you a discount for your trouble.

occasionally i pay my bill late and get charged a late fee - I just ring up, say I was kept at work a bit longer and thier records will show im a long time telstra user that usually pays on time
- charge reveresed.

they started charging me for paper bills so i complained
- fee reversed

I do now pay by internet bill and direct debit though
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Reply By: garri - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:12

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:12
I don't think any mobile network covers 98.5% of australia
AnswerID: 519396

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:27

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:27
As stated in reply 2 - it's not 98.5% of the country but 98.5% of the population.
PeterD
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:30

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:30
Garri,
Apologies for my slip up.
Mike.
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Follow Up By: allein m - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:58

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:58
Optus and telstra are planning a new towers in here in town Broken Hill but as far as out of town nothing

why not the road to Tibooburra i asked local shop not enough traffic but they are fixing the road and if people were able to get service out on that road they might want to travel

what a joke
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:42

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:42
We managed to travel long before mobile phones!
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Follow Up By: Off-track - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:37

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:37
So true Shaker, how did we get around safely!!!!
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Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:37

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:37
Correction.

The company's web site states.

"The combined 2G and 3G footprint covers 98.5% of the Australian Population."
Apologies

Mike
AnswerID: 519397

Reply By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:51

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:51
On the plus side it is surprising where you do get Telstra coverage. On a recent trip I received emails on my Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus at the camping area at Porcupine Gorge and had a very clear hands free conversation about half way between Longreach and Winton. Jut the phone on a windscreen holder with no external antenna.
Cheers,
Kevin
Kevin
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

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AnswerID: 519400

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:32

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:32
Are there mines nearby, that is a possible explanation...
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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:40

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:40
I really wasn't looking for an explanation. I was just commenting that the coverage was there. I guess there is a reason for every tower that Telstra build but they all add to the reach of the network.
The people who amuse me are those that expect coverage to be available in a remote area just because they are there.
Cheers,
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Jason aka, 'Bushie' - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 04:25

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 04:25
I agree with you Kevin S. It is remarkable where you get service.

I work Offshore on Oil Rigs and Drill Ships. I was recently on a Drill Ship located 210km North of Exmouth, WA. At times, depending on the weather and atmospheric conditions, I had between 1 and 3 bars of service. The tower I was picking up was the one at the Harold Holt Naval Communication Station at Exmouth (I know this because it came up on my phone and I later checked my bill just to confirm it). I was able to send and receive messages and even managed to get a call out to a work mate who was back onshore. The signal didn't last for long.

I guess being at sea and with no hills or mountains in the way the signal travelled further with the assistance of atmospheric and weather conditions. However, the majority of the time I had no signal at all. Saying that, never think that no matter where you go you will have mobile coverage. Especially in rural and remote areas.

Jason
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:00

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:00
I have no complaints about Telstra's service.

In 2000 I travelled around Aus for 12 months, used a laptop and Mobile phone tethered for internet access. Cost me around $120.00 per month for that.

In 2009 I did the same sort of trip, Mobile phone tethered to laptop.

Cost around $40.00 per month, service better, faster, more reliable.

Any towns with 500 or more population, and a whole heap with less, are covered. I guess if we want more than that then a Sat Phone is the answer, but there again I met a fella in Palm Valley who couldn't get a signal on his. Valley walls too high.
AnswerID: 519402

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:05

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:05
If you've ever dealt with the alternatives, as in Optus and Vodaphone, then you start to appreciate just how much coverage Telstra has!

I seem to recall some deal about the mobile phone coverage around Kalbarri a few years ago. Because there was some deal between Telstra and the Kalbarri-ites, Telstra only agreed to put in a tower if they had exclusive coverage of the area covered by the tower.
This meant if you were with another carrier, it wasn't possible to roam using Telstras tower, because no roaming agreements had been put in place by Telstra for that area.
AnswerID: 519403

Reply By: wombat100 - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:08

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:08
We had full signal at Roxby...even a couple of bars at Andamooka!!!

AnswerID: 519404

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:36

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:36
The Roxby Downs mine is the reason. Anywhere a larger mine exists is almost ensures Telstra coverage.

Similar all over Australia...
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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:11

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:11
We had mobile phone coverage at Adel's Grove Qld (or to be accurate, on a small knoll several hundred metres away).....its from the Century Zinc mine nearby (so I'm told).
We also had good coverage at Lake Hart on the Stuart Highway and places further up the highway too, seemingly nowhere near any settlements at all (but near the trainline). Investigation at the time suggested to me that Telstra must be servicing the trainline across the Nullarbor, maybe for Indian Pacific Passengers (or for rail companies). Anyway, the Telstra coverage map suggests they continuously service the line west to around Ooldea, then solo cells after that for awhile.
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FollowupID: 799519

Reply By: Tim - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:21

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:21
Just a quick war story about mobiles.
Only last year I was about 200km from the nearest town with mobile coverage and got a freckle of reception in which time I got about 10 missed call texts with one saying there was an urgent job (emergency services) and I was being recalled. I couldn't for the life of me find that half a freckle of service again so I went into the nearest homestead I could find to use their land line. I couldn't find any one there and I struggled to get a conversation through on the UHF as they were some distance out. So I re-check the time on my phone and sure enough full service. Turns out the home stead area which was only about 3 or 4 buildings and a workshop had a little telstra Next g tower on its roof and it gave perfect reception within about 500m of the homestead. I still don't know who the owners are and why they had their own mobile "tower" but worked perfectly.
Got a sat phone now so no need to go back either.
Tim
AnswerID: 519414

Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:57

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:57
Here is a recent Technology News article. Telstra is going from strength to strength. While some Telcos are still trying to solve problems with their 3G network Telstra has perfected 3G and 4G and is working on 6G. I rejoined Telstra after trying others and am happy to pay a premium price for a premium service.

Telstra trials next-gen mobile technologyBy Andrew Mudie

- September 11, 2013

In an attempt to further improve its standing as the provider of the fastest mobile broadband in Australia, (ASX: TLS) has announced that it has begun trials of the next generation of broadband technology. The technology, called ‘carrier aggregation’, or LTE-A, joins three separate radio frequencies together in order to provide superior internet speeds.

Laboratory testing has demonstrated download speeds of 450 megabits per second (MBPS) for the technology. These speeds will most likely not be repeatable in a commercial setup when thousands of users are connected to the service, but speeds of 150 MBPS appear reasonable. This compares well with the proposed NBN speeds of 100 MBPS (Labour’s fibre to the home) and 50 MBPS (Liberal’s fibre to the node).

Telstra has not detailed how long until the technology will be ready to roll out across Australia, although at present there is only one phone on the market capable of using it. To coincide with the rollout of the world’s first LTE-A network by SK Telecom in South Korea, Samsung has released a version of its flagship Galaxy S4 with the correct radios to use the technology. SK Telecom has advertised actual data speeds of up to 150 MBPS which would download an 800MB movie in around 43 seconds.

Carriers in North America and Russia have expressed an interest in developing LTE-A networks in the next 6 to 12 months, with more expected to follow in a similar manner to the rollout of the now-common 4G technology.

The next generation (6G) of the technology is expected to produce actual speeds of up to 300 MBPS.

Telstra was the first to set up a 4G network in Australia and look like it’ll be the first to set up the next generation network too. The network, when available, will likely draw more customers to the telco and allow the company to charge higher rates for faster data. With the NBN forcing Telstra to compete more evenly with other internet providers for cable-based internet, growing market share in mobile will become more important if the company is to continue growing value for shareholders.

AnswerID: 519421

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 22:33

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 22:33
Had time to use my iPad in Mt Isa last week, and surprised to see they have 4G.

Bit of a Telstra fan myself. When you live in western Qld, you don't have much choice. On odd occasions, late at night, I've received SMS' at over 100kms from the nearest cell, without any external aerial.

They just need to add some more cells along some of the major highways. Am sure these would soon pay for themselves, with use by most travellers.

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 22:33

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 22:33
One thing to bear in mind is that many of the current crop of expensive smart phones have very poor low signal performance.

These days I run a $100 Nokia Asha...and it spanks almost everybody elses smart phone that I know for reception reliability.

I can make and recieve calls in the house with the Asha no problems but the handbrake has to go out in the yard to get a reliable signal from her HTC.

If you want good low signal performance and any results at all in some places, you realy have to chose your phone well.

cheers
AnswerID: 519423

Follow Up By: Candace S. - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 11:08

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 11:08
And to take that a few steps further...back in the days of analog cell phone service, my phone with a little pull-out antenna could make and receive calls from places I now can't with today's fancy phones. (I'm talking about the mountains and deserts here in the U.S.)
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 17:44

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 17:44
Candace - Yep, the old analog phones had fabulous "skip" ability. I understand this was due to the signal strength from the analog towers, and the power of the old analog phones. Digital towers don't produce the same signal strength.

My first mobile in 1990 was a Uniden "brick" phone with 3 watt output!
I can recall making a call on my old Uniden from my a high point on my farm 110kms South of Perth - and it was picked up and relayed by the analog transmitter at Geraldton - 425kms North of Perth!!
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 19:53

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 19:53
actually in Australia the power output of both the phones and the bases has not changed.

The range of the current generations of mobile phones is intentionally limited and for very good reason.

The term is latencey.

Because of the speed of the stream of data that travels to and from the handset, the range has to be limited......its to to with the time taken for the signal to travel to the phone and back.

No matter how much gain in the aerial or how strong the signal could be if a phone was modified.....the maximum range limit would be the same.

The range would also be limited if the above was not so, in an effort to allow more phones to be serviced by more bases closer together.

If the range was too far, each phone would be dealing with too many bases.

cheers
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FollowupID: 799600

Reply By: 08crd - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 00:26

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 00:26
From the first post on the thread, it doesn't sound like a Telstra coverage problem, more a Telstra reseller problem.
I think resellers like lyca mobile have access to the Telstra network, however it is limited access.
I doubt package B, the poster was talking about was a Telstra direct product.
AnswerID: 519430

Follow Up By: Member - daz (SA) - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 11:50

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 11:50
Looks to me that Telstra is being bagged in the first instance by Michael, when he is not a Telstra customer. you can't have your cake & eat it too. TELSTRA customers get the largest coverage in Australia.
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 17:16

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 17:16
daz,
I was not bagging Telstra.
There was no denying of Telstra's service or coverage.

If You were to read the post, You would see that I was warning EO members & visitors of the coverage supplied by a Telstra re-seller as opposed to what they advertise.

Regards Mike.
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FollowupID: 799589

Follow Up By: Member - daz (SA) - Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 22:12

Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 22:12
Hi Michael
I did read your post fully,
Tell me if I am not getting it, You used to be with Telstra with your mobile service, but changed to another provider as Telstra were too expensive. Your new provider who you have not named says they use the telstra network. What they did not tell you is that they do not have access to all the Telstra network. Now it is common sense to me that Telstra would not let their competition have full access to all their
towers, as the word would get around that it would be cheaper to contract with company X. Telstra provide their customers with the best phone service in Australia & as such are not the cheapest.
Daz
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FollowupID: 799608

Follow Up By: Tuffa - Thursday, Oct 10, 2013 at 08:42

Thursday, Oct 10, 2013 at 08:42
Yeah Daz,
As you said in your last post, "you are not getting it", it seems to me that Michael simply became aware that he wasn't getting full access to the Telstra network, is prepared to accept that but was letting others know that they could find themselves in the same boat.
I tried the Kogan network (restricted Telstra) early this year & found exactly the same situation. When in major towns etc.., no problem. However I work in the mining industry in regional QLD & my service was restricted to the point that it wasn't usable. As others have stated in this thread, when mining is involved a Telstra tower will usually appear, but not good to you if you don't have access.
However contrary to your other statement on common sense, Telstra do grant absolute full access to all their towers in the case of Boost Mobile which is an unlimited texts, unlimited calls, + 3Gb data for $40/month.
I have been with Boost Mobile for 6 months now & all is good.
Sometimes you do get to have your cake & eat it too!
Cheers CT
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