Mobile Internet -any chance or am I wasting my time.

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 21:41
ThreadID: 67696 Views:2696 Replies:8 FollowUps:16
This Thread has been Archived
Hi,

In September this year I am planning a trip with the family basically covering a big loop:
Melbourne - Broken Hill - Tibooburra - Innaminka - Birdsville - Boulia - Alice and surrounds - the rock - Dalhousie - Marree back to Melbourne.

As I am pulling my young son out of school early - his teacher suggested maybe he could email the class some photos etc....

That got me thinking and I am possibly going to creating a blog site for him to use to keep his school mates up to speed.

I realise there will be plenty of places with no mobile coverage at all - but am I totally wasting my time or am I likely to be able to find areas of usable network coverage at least every few days?

I work in IT and have access to both Optus and Telstra Mobile data - I am assuming Optus coverage will be pretty sad out there - but was wondering if anyone could give me a heads up if the Telstra coverage was half manageable. ( I've never been one to believe their coverage maps! )

Cheers, Mark
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: andson - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:11

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:11
Hi Mark,

My husband and I drove from Perth to Canberra via Kimba, Mildura, Albury then back along the coast via the great ocean road and Eyre peninsula. On the way over we had a Vodafone wireless card (which is subsequently in the bin) and we brought a telstra one when we got to Canberra which had great coverage. Not sure if this helps as we didn't go to the same areas but it worked in some very tiny towns for us. I would say go with the telstra option though.

Andson
AnswerID: 358872

Follow Up By: Bytemrk - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:30

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:30
Thanks Andson,

I figured I had far more chance with Telstra.

Cheers,
Mark
0
FollowupID: 626969

Reply By: Member - sdr00y (Beecroft, NSW - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:12

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:12
I am doing that trip, pretty close to it anyway, starting on April 18 finishing May 7, but start and finish from Sydney. If you can wait till then I will be able to tell you. What is the best way to contact you? I imagine this thread will be archived by then.

Sdr00y

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 358873

Follow Up By: Bytemrk - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:32

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:32
Thanks Sdr00y

I would certainly be interested in feedback.

mark(at) bugs-n-bytes.com

Hope you have a great time...


Mark
0
FollowupID: 626970

Reply By: Red Tail Black (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:25

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:25
Hi Mark,
I'm on a trip as we speak and am thrilled with the coverage I'm getting . We have the Telstra gateway 7.2 modem and got it most nights across the Nullarbor and working great along the Murray. I couldn't believe the coverage I got out. It came with 3 attached aerials then I got a $34.95 extra aerial which is about 14inches tall and has a magnetic base. I'm sitting up the river from Mannum and got the highest signal you can get as I write this.
Its not cheap but I took out a three year plan but you can just pay for it as you go. At the moment they are giving the gateway modem away if you sign up for 3yrs or 12minths. I'm not a Telstras fan but we had no other choice and its been great to have as we travel.
Cheers Red Tail Black
AnswerID: 358878

Follow Up By: Bytemrk - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:49

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:49
Thanks Red Tail Black,


It's nice to get some feedback on real world facts rather than what they want us to believe!

Cheers, Mark
0
FollowupID: 626979

Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:30

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:30
Telstra Next G is about your only chance.

If you check out the coverage map (http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile/networks/coverage/state.html) you need to zoom in and see the blank spaces in the orange dots.

With an antenna, we got mobile coverage in most towns we went to last year, as well as Yulara resort (best reception of whole trip). Some of the dots on the Telstra map in the outback are on Aboriginal communities with no access to tourists.

Our trip was mainly the Kimberley and around Alice Springs, so i can't comment on the route you will take. I'm sure you could stop for a day or two to catch up when you find you get reception.

There have been a number of threads on mobile internet over the past few weeks. Check out the options that work for others.

Motherhen

Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 358880

Follow Up By: Member - Robert R1 (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:48

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 22:48
Motherhen,

What was the coverage like through the Kimberleys? I am going there in 7 weeks so I am a bit interested.

Regards,
Bob
0
FollowupID: 626878

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 23:00

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2009 at 23:00
Hi Bob

Nothing at all between Derby and Kununurra, although you should get coverage at Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek if you go via the highway.Wyndham also has coverage on the map.

Mh
Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 626882

Follow Up By: Bytemrk - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:39

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:39
Thanks Motherhen,

I suspected that Telstra was the only real option.

As far as the coverage maps - I've worked in IT pretty closely with Telstra and Optus for several years... so I have a pretty healthy distrust of some of their propaganda.

Far too often I've seen the service delivered being 70% of what is promised.. that's why I asked here - so I could find out what happens in the real world!

Thanks for the assistance though.,.

Mark

0
FollowupID: 626973

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 19:17

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 19:17
Hi Mark

I'm pleased to meet a realist, rather than the ones who have listened to the Telstra call centre staff who believe 98% of population equates to same % of land mass. I life in the SW of WA, and in the map it is pretty well all orange - until you zoom in. My family farm (son now resides there) has a big white patch. With the old analogue, you could get cover at a few points. CDMA came in and at first there was no cover, but they did improve it and we had service. Next G comes in and it is worse than t he old analogue. Maybe one day - - - - -

Mh
Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 627010

Reply By: cobber - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 02:02

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 02:02
I have the Telstra Next G card that fits in my laptop I also have the small aerial about 12cm (5 inchs) attached to the card.......where ever you can get a phone signal you get the internet.......woulden't be without it on our trips
AnswerID: 358896

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 05:09

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 05:09
Optus publish their coverage maps as well, and claim to be building 3 towers a day for wireless broadband etc.

Seems with O and the bit T you can count on reception within about 30 k of a tower and the maps show which towns have towers.

I reckon a blog would be a great idea, and internet access would help the kid do some research on the history of the places you pass through.
0
FollowupID: 626888

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 06:44

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 06:44
Mark

No Mobile service at Marree, Innamincka, Birdsville, Boulia



Cheers
AnswerID: 358901

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 07:43

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 07:43
Boulia has Next G, or had last year we got it 30kms out of town in a creek bed. It had CDMA when we were there three years back.
Cheers,
Who?
John

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 626902

Follow Up By: Axel [ the real one ] - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:05

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:05
Boulia definitly , telstra only , 20k radius without external arial and upto 30k with ,, nil service between Boulia + Winton ,
0
FollowupID: 626911

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:33

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:33
There ya go...I made an error...lol
0
FollowupID: 626913

Follow Up By: get outmore - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:16

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:16
maybe not but i suspect most of those places have telecentres
0
FollowupID: 626937

Follow Up By: Axel [ the real one ] - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:58

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:58
get outmore ,, some do and others dont ,, Innaminka has /had a computer in the Trading post /shop /petrol station for public use x$ for x minutes when there last year , was veeeeeeeeery slow.
0
FollowupID: 626941

Follow Up By: Bytemrk - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:43

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:43
Thanks Willem and others,

I suspected this was the part of the trip I would find the biggest difficulty getting any access.


As this idea is more just for fun... I guess we may just have a bit to catch up on when we hit Alice!..


To be honest I am really looking forward to getting where the phone doesnt work!

Cheers,
Mark
0
FollowupID: 626975

Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:29

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:29
6mth trip last year had the young fella send an email with a photo or 3 back to his school whenever in mobile range [telstra-BP3-usb] ,, in that way his class was able to follow his adventures on a map of Aus that we gave the school ,
As for the telstra maps ,,, lets just say that they are not as acurate as they could be ,,,,
AnswerID: 358913

Follow Up By: Bytemrk - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:46

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:46
Thanks Axel,

The first half of this trip is just me and the boy.... the girls fly in to meet us in Alice..

I'm really looking forward to it - I think it will do us both a lot of good spending a bit of time alone together.


And as far as the coverage maps go.. I'm hearing you loud and clear! - never yet seen an accurate one.

Cheers, Mark
0
FollowupID: 626977

Reply By: Hopper51 - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 11:35

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 11:35
If you go to the Australian Communications and Media Authority site (http://web.acma.gov.au/pls/radcom/register_search.main_page) You can do a search (find - sites, where - name) on the towns you will be passing through. If you are using Next G you will be looking for Telstra transmitter sites in those towns (specifically in the frequencies 839.8MHz and 884.8MHz). For, say, Boulia it will be the Telstra Radio Terminal there.
You then have a pretty good idea where you will or won't get coverage.
Chris W
AnswerID: 358947

Follow Up By: Bytemrk - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:47

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:47
Thanks Hopper51,

I wasn't aware of that site...Very useful.

Cheers, Mark
0
FollowupID: 626978

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)