CHOICE membership

Black Spot Mobile Coverage

Is anyone else totally fed up with mobile black spots. Despite paying for full mobile coverage half time don’t receive texts until hours later, unable to send texts as no coverage ?

However still paying same as if full coverage . Ridiculous!,

4 Likes

I lived with that problem and eventually bought a booster from Telstra. It cost about $700 which they graciously allow you to pay over 12 months (instead of fixing the original problem!), but it has improved things to the extent that I can now have a nearly normal conversation on my mobile and texts are instantaneous.

These things are only legal if you get permission from your telco (effectively allowing them to charge what they like!) but are worth it in terms of frustration relief.

I don’t believe Telstra is the slightest bit interested in improving mobile reception or (worse) internet services. They are however past masters at bulldusting you for many months while doing absolutely nothing to improve things. There is a special place in digital hell for Telstra.

7 Likes

Well as a Tasmanian resident i have to say the black spots are a bug bear. At one black spot TELSTRA provided an aerial and pole but i had to have it installed. I guess my biggest gripe is black spots which occur infrequently. One day you can continue a conversation. The next no. The other gripe is inconsistency. I would have thought mobile coverage would be a given on any major route. Launceston to Hobart for example. The East Coast. The west Coast. Launceston to the west. But no. No complete coverage. I foind that not only frustrating but a failure on the part of my provider. I should add, I have remained with TELSTRA since the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake, despite approaches from others. But mu patience is wearing thin.

2 Likes

I encountered the ‘joy’ of patchy Telstra coverage when living in the NorthWest. The late texts, lack of phone reception & over subscribed Internet were incredibly frustrating. On a positive note, our Telstra coverage was vastly better than that of friends with other Telco’s. Many of them could not use their phones in our house & had to walk 3 doors up to the local park for reception. Whilst far from perfect Telstra was a far superior service than Virgin, Optus & Vodaphone.

1 Like

I think you are being very unfair and unreasonable. You can’t realise just how much it costs to deliver network infrastructure. It is a simple matter of priorities in getting coverage to the maximum number of people. If that means that a valley with fifty people living in it has to wait longer, then so be it. If only Telstra could move that hill 30m to the right, but Telstra can’t move mountains. And if you think I’m sitting in my ivory tower in a five bar 4G area you’d be wrong. I too have poor coverage living where I do in rural Tasmania.

Telstra is part way into a program to resolve known black spots nationally - https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-networks/mobile-black-spot-program. This is in parallel with the work, driven by customer demand, to continually upgrade and expand the network (e.g. the 4G program).

Telstra is certainly not perfect, far from it. There are plenty of things that irritate me, but despite my limited coverage at home, general mobile coverage is not one of them. There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Telstra has the best mobile coverage in Australia.

Remember you always have the choice (pun intended) to opt for another carrier.

3 Likes

Telcos the world over promise everything and deliver very little - it is a pandemic. If Telcos were genuinely trying then all remote communities would have as good a service as those in high density population areas. Forget the population numbers Telstra, Optus, Vodafone etc - you owe an obligation to your users to provide a usable service. If you can’t afford it then cut the CEO pat packages to be normal rather than obscene. My business relies on telecommunications and an efficient service, and there are no Telcos in Australia that can provide a solution - welcome to rape and pillage under the guise of “good service”.

3 Likes

If you’re a Telstra customer, this latest poll might interest you:

Do you trust that Telstra will provide a reliable service in the future? Vote now: choice.com.au/telstra

I live in Sydney, and i am constantly hearing of late from friends/business colleagues about sms messages I have never received. Yet, their phone shows it sent. I also get sms messages that I have voicemail. No missed call though.

And yes, at times i get messages hours later. I suspect a blackspot or two where i live now thatI am unaware of, testing by leaving phone in different locations. My last place had a dead spot.

Business wise its costing me money. Not happy, especially when i swapped to Telstra after hearing about their great coverage.

Any recommendations for a more reliable service?

I live in an area in South West WA, that has poor 3G & 4G signal, I get patches in the house that have 1 bar on both 3 & 4G on Telstra. My wife runs a business from home and frequently misses out on texts / phone messages and calls due to this. We are about 8km from the nearest phone tower which is in the CBD of Busselton and have a lot of trees as well that attenuate the signals. We have no choice but to wait out our contract which has a year to go unless anyone can recommend ways of getting out of contracts due to poor service. We both have 2015 model iPhones and suffer the same lack of mobile coverage. Telstra is not interested in upgrading the towers.

Before moving to our new farm I checked the Telstra Mobile coverage map which said we would have good reception inside and outside the house over our entire property, so we would not need a landline and ADSL; instead relying on our existing mobiles and broadband.

When we arrived there was no signal anywhere on the property over a km long or in the highset house on the hill. Telstra assured us their mapping was accurate and we should have coverage. After many discussions they told us the name of the towers they based it on and I was able to look up the licences with the GPS locations. Telstra said these towers were experiencing a “software fault”. Later they admitted they had not been built. A Telstra technician showed us our signal came from a tower over 20km away over 2 hilly ranges, which explained why we could get one bar of 2G in a very narrow band (30cm) up high and lost it on windy days (the trees in the gap moved). At best it was sufficient for the phone to ring but not to hear or maintain a call.

Our landline has suffered from poor sound - callers say we are faint and there is noise on the line. Some elderly relatives cannot understand us at all, so we arrange for a call on the mobile when in town. We had ADSL through a 3rd party, but speeds were woeful, such that videos and some popular sites wouldn’t load, we approached Telstra about going to BigPond, but were told they couldn’t due to the state of our line.

I don’t remember Telstra being this bad, ever. On the plus side - they do keep in touch and let us know about plans that would better suit us. They noticed our low use and offered a long life plan which is saving us quite a bit, although we had to forfeit all the accumulated credits under our old plan.

No recommendations, but for perspective, an excerpt from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Message_Service

“SMS message delivery is not guaranteed, and many implementations provide no mechanism through which a sender can determine whether an SMS message has been delivered in a timely manner. SMS messages are generally treated as lower-priority traffic than voice, and various studies have shown that around 1% to 5% of messages are lost entirely, even during normal operation conditions, and others may not be delivered until long after their relevance has passed.”

There are numerous companies that claim to sell highly reliable SMS for business (eg marketing campaigns, customer engagement, general spamming, etc) but at the end of the day they are still at the mercy of the underlying technologies.

I was a Virgin Prepaid Mobile customer and very happy with their service and great value prepaid plans. After I moved from NSW to South East Tassie it all went belly up though. Virgin use the Optus network and there were vast stretches of roads between our home and our boys high school where there was simply no Optus signal whatsoever. So I reluctantly changed to Telstra Prepaid and haven’t had a problem since, unless you count a section of underground carpark we were in last weekend that was totally void of a signal.

Sorry I disagree Telstra are not giving its customers decent service and you don’t need to be out in the country it happens in the middle of town

3 Likes

Telstra has been busy building towers in regional areas, and while they do so basically at a loss, the company can continue to claim the biggest network coverage (increasing overall patronage). The first issue, based on some of the comments here, is whether that paradigm still holds true. In my experience, it can depend on the area but I’m no expert in mobile networks.

The second issue is related to competition, and whether this is essentially fair (presented within the framework that Telstra is investing in regionl areas). Below is a recent article on the issue - your thoughts and experiences with Telstra coverage and on the above issues are welcome!

1 Like

My Cousin and his family at Crabbes Creek Northern NSW had to fit an external aerial to get mobile reception with Optus, I think, and there is no Telstra reception (they do not get Wifi, ADSL, or NBN in their area atm). They are a small pocket of users in a dead spot with no real alternatives.

1 Like

Here in South East Tassie you basically use Telstra or have lousy mobile coverage with lots of black spots. I was a happy Virgin Mobile prepaid customer until I moved here from the mainland. Virgin uses the Optus Network and the amount of blackspots here through them is disgraceful. Telstra on the other hand, never had a problem since I switched. Can’t comment on their coverage anywhere else because everywhere else I’ve lived the Optus coverage was adequate for my Virgin Mobile needs, even in a small town like Cootamundra, NSW. Pity Telstra can’t get the NBN to behave itself though. That would just be a bonus.

2 Likes

Just as a point of interest… when we conduct testing of mobile phone handsets that work on Telstra’s NextG network, we work together with Farming Ahead magazine, and the reception testing is conducted on the Hay plains in NSW. One of the reasons that we use this location is because it is devoid of any other phone network coverage.

2 Likes

Just returned from a trip, Melbourne-Mount Gambier-Bordertown-McLaren Vale-Adelaide Hills-Melbourne. Our mobiles are Optus network and it was disconcerting how many minutes we could spend even on the main highway without any signal. If we had a breakdown, especially at night, the phones would have been less useful than a brick (a brick can be used to chock wheels if the emergency brake and transmission park both fail).

Government should mandate that in return for any services licenses (frequency, etc) the supplier (Optus, Telstra, Vodaphone, whomever) should be required to provide a signal for a minimum of 100% along main roads (M and A, and maybe B as a minimum) and/or mandate roaming services to accomplish that, at fair prices.

4 Likes

Doug1, I have the same problem where I live in Boondal, a suburb about 15 kms from the Brisbane CBD, on the eastern side of Sandgate Rd. I contacted Telstra as you did and they told me the best they could do was sell me the same $700 booster. I decided to go to Optus and wonder of wonders, it was the same. I contacted OPtus who promptly provided me, free of charge, with a Home Zone gadget which hooked up to my modem and proved full service…excellent result. Unfortunately, now that we have NBN, the Home Zone now longer works. Optus has an app but is a useless option. Talk about progress.

2 Likes

Optus’ alternatives to their obsolete Home Zone can be found here:

1 Like