Mobile phone doesn't ring but do get SMS about 'missed call'

I had heard thay it was becase all the bandwidth of the mobile comms tower was used when the call was received…it couldn’t handle another connection so a text message is instead sent.

The other reason I had heard is it could a local blackspot … understand these can occur even if the phone has bars as it could be when the phone switches between receivers/transmitters on two towers or due to a source of interference or shielding of the signal.

In a previous job and on the way home, this used to happen especially when I was passing near the CBD. Often the phone would hang up when I suspect it was when the connection switching towers. It seemed to be worse at peak hour when traffic was horrendous (possibly many people contacting loved ones that they would be late home temporarily congesting the network) or if there was some sort of issue (e.g. storm warning or football on).

Maybe someone with mobile network knowledge could confirm.

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Unfortunately, that is not the case. As an example, Medion (ALDI) are a Telstra reseller, and they say “MEDION Australia Pty Ltd. (ABN 58 106 611 330) under the brand name ALDImobile uses part of Telstra’s 4G and 3G mobile network”.
You won’t get the same level of coverage with an ALDI SIM as you would with a Telstra SIM.

I don’t believe that ALDI are the only reseller with only partial access to Telstra’s coverage.


GSM (2G) will be phased out later this year when Vodafone shuts down its 2G network. Telstra and Optus have already done so.

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That applies to Optus resellers too. I’m not sure about coverage, but some features that work with Optus, such as MMS, don’t with resellers such as Southern Phone using Optus’ network.

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Thanks for that Scott. I found that most (all?) Telstra network resellers use the “Telstra Wholesale” network. I found the Telstra Wholesale coverage map and compared it to the Telstra coverage map and there are significant differences in the regions and bush.


I also have the exact problem with Optus.
However I was recently in USA and signed up with T Mobile. They have the same problem but ten times worse. I regularly found No Servince in areas where sometimes I had 4 out of 5 dots signal strength.

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It reveals the lie of how good the interconnected world will be when everything is network dependent and everything is in “the cloud”, eh? No service == no life, yet the cloud hype continues and consumers as well as governments are buying into it.

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I have similar problems at my home here in Canberra with iiNet Mobile, who bought me when they acquired TransACT and are, I believe, an Optus reseller.

More troublingly, not only does the phone make no noise when the SMS comes through to say I have a new message at Voicemail, when I eventually noticed an SMS like this a couple of weeks ago and tried to ring my Voicemail, the call would not go through

In fact it took me two days before I could actually pick up that phone message which turned out to be an offer of consultancy work! (Fortunately those few hours of work had not been offered elsewhere by the time I returned the call.)

I must confess I have just added this to a lengthy list of problems with my phone which I intend to sort out one of these years when I feel I have an hour or so to sit on hold trying to talk to iiNet support – they no longer have an office in Canberra, and I have not found their website to be of any help with any of my problems.

This may need to be sooner rather than later, since iiNet have just sent me an email to say they are going to replace my TransACT-legacy landline with one of their own VOIP phones whether I want them to or not, and that they will also be “upgrading” me to a more expensive Internet plan, again replacing the budget plan I used to have with TransACT and which suits me very well.

Yes , it is happening everywhere. I’m over it. If something doesn’t improve soon I will just have no phone.It’s that

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Same for myself (ALDI) and my husband (Woolworths)… Is this what ‘quality’ service has reduced to in this century?

iiNet are a totally owned subsidiary of TPG. If you cannot find iiNet try a TPG office or ring/email/mail their corporate offices

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What make of phone is it. Sounds like a problem with your phone

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It appears to be somewhat pervasive from personal experience as well as the myriad posts. We have a Moto G2, Samsung S4 Mini, Oppo R9, and a Moto X all with the same problem. Does that pass the pub test it is with the phone?

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They appear to be Android. I had a similar problem with a Nexus 5. Never got the call but received an SMS. Can you borrow an iPhone to see what happens although it might be difficult to organise.

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As you wrote, difficult to organise, so no, but an interesting thought nevertheless.

The problem has continued after I changed phones.
The problem is with the mobile phone network supporting phone calls; it seems to have no problem supporting things that are not phone calls (texts, browsing the internet, apps that access the internet).
Just phone calls. Because the phone service is “too busy” doing other things.

If you have all the communication with Telstra documented then go straight to the Telecomunicstions Ombudsman. We did this in our business and Telstra jumped. Problem was fixed and got a sizeable credit as well.
You must have dates and what was said recorded.
Hope this helps.

One other reason calls “get lost” is solar interference. Mobile networks like any wireless signal are vulnerable to this, and as we rely more and more heavily on this medium to communicate I think we will find it becoming a more common occurrence. I am not saying this is the main reason for the faults but it does play a part.


I first came to recognise the impacts of cosmic rays many years ago when NASA was trying for 99.9+ computer reliability at Johnson Space Center to support orbiting shuttles; it was found to be an impossible dream; the best they could do was using 5 parallel IBM mainframes all voting on each solution and at least 3 had to match if my memory is correct. That was because of electronic faults, software failures, and crashes attributed to the impact of cosmic rays causing CPU or memory channel faults. A bit later when quantum computing was an early R&D exercise cosmic rays were a serious problem to overcome, and the solution I am aware of was that they also used 5 parallel “cpus” to vote on each answer and at least 3 had to match or it faulted, all because of cosmic interference, not electronic failure. A more recent article is here.

For those not into reading the whole article on more mundane issues, results were published in 2004 in Electronic Design News and provided the following estimates:
* A simple cell phone with 500 kilobytes of memory should only have one potential error every 28 years.
* A router farm like those used by Internet providers with only 25 gigabytes of memory may experience one potential networking error that interrupts their operation every 17 hours.
* A person flying in an airplane at 35,000 feet (where radiation levels are considerably higher than they are at sea level) who is working on a laptop with 500 kilobytes of memory may experience one potential error every five hours.

In 2017 those capacities are humorously small and the effects are far greater.

Plus, as we approach solar minimum in 2-3 years, the level of cosmic rays from deep space- supernovae, etc is increasing as the sun’s protective envelope weakens.

However, I find it rather hard to attribute the crap service I get here entirely to cosmic rays!