Mobile 4G network

I live in Hurstville NSW and I find the mobile 4G network to be full of black spots especially at home where I get 1 bar of reception and sometimes no bars. My mate at Maroubra also experiences poor reception and we are on different networks so it appears not to be a network issue. My 4G plan is useless at home I have to get people to phone me back on my landline as my mobile just drops out. It is also impossible to send an MMS from home unless I walk up the street. They call this modern communication I call it very frustrating.

I read in the Sunday paper a couple of weeks back where the Ambulance Service that relies on the 4G network encounters black spots quite often and needs to use a landline at times. This is not acceptable for an emergency service such as the Ambulance Service.


Are you aware the most NBN telephone service is VOIP and subject to all the drop outs and server failures of any internet service as well as localised power failures?

The NBN official advice is to always keep a fully charged mobile for emergencies. Your experience indicates that mobile is not a reliable backup for many of us, as some of us already know. :frowning:


I thought emergency services still relied on NSW Government Radio Network (GRN) and the old VHF system for primary communication.

I know that there was talk a few years ago about 3G and 4G usage as well but not sure if it got legs.

It may have done for data communications, but not voice which would be by GRN and VHF.

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A 2015 fluff story but relevant in these days of black spots and the NBN and cost cutting.

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Very true. Harking back to the dark ages, the analogue mobile transmission service was more reliable and maintained continuity of service. I currently work in Docklands, Melbourne CBD where I can’t use 3G for voice communications because the signal quality is so poor. I can get one bar’s signal-strength for a faltering 4G data transmission if I position my mobile phone in an elevated location.

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Consider yourself lucky you do not belong to NBN fibre to the node … the landline drops out and does not work at all if there is a blackout. If you ring overseas the receivers compl;ain they are unable to hear you. Worst of all they will not allow you to go back to ADSL which was a far superior service.


There are apparently two types of 4G available from Telstra. The type that delivers the speeds advertised and another type for regional customers that typically performs at speeds of as little as 2Mbps.

The most significant revelation is Telstra does collect information on customer data speeds for all it’s mobile service towers and connections. It’s not for sharing. There is an assumption Optus has a similar capacity.

It’s unfortunate the Minister, the ACCC and ACMA have not seen the need to seek and publish such data.

Our experience with a Testra 4G mobile data modem in regional SE Qld has been more positive. Typically speeds can range from 20-40Mbps, depending on which window or outdoor setting the device is placed in.


We recently became aware a critical mobile service modem required because of NBN [lack of] reliability (ie one must keep a fully charged mobile blah blah) was routinely dropping back from 4G to 3G and then with signal strengths of 1 or even 0 (it can often work at 0 although hit or miss!).

The solutions - a $750 external antenna installation; a $1500+ household repeater applicable only to the Telstra network); and/or adding an Optus SIM adding another $175 pa cost to reliably service that single modem. Reliability costs (although it does) is not a good response nor the purpose of this post.

The purpose of this post is if any reader has a critical mobile modem connected device (alarms, panic alert systems, etc) it may pay to watch if your mobile service (and thus maybe that modem) drops from 4G to 3G from time to time. Telstra is shutting down the last 3G in June 2024 so if they do not improve their 4G coverage for better reliability it will be better to be prepared prior to, than need to scramble afterwards. Optus will be following suit; both have already reduced the frequencies they use for 3G with a single one remaining on each network.

When 3G is gone it is gone, so the multitude of 4G-3G modems, some servicing critical devices, will have nothing to drop back to so assuring a good 4G signal will be imperative. Then there is (or will be) 5G (still vapourware for most of us) …


5G is vapourware in the immediate vicinity but OK, apparently, in the CBD and closer suburbs. 3G is still reducing, 4G is unreliable but I can make and receive calls. For data? Impossible. I’m on Woolworths and am planning a switch back to GOMO which I trialled earlier in the year. The Optus tower is closer, and whilst I had GOMO with no 5G, my 4G was not just good, it was excellent. I’ve decided that spending an extra $5/m is worth it.