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Beyond the expected

Deteriorating Telstra mobile coverage

By Karrotstix - 10 December 2012 53

Over the last couple of months my mobile Internet coverage for both phone and iPad has really deteriorated especially in the evenings. I live in Queanbeyan and the coverage in my house is now restricted to a small area of one room and even that is patchy. Especially in the evenings. I work in Tuggeranong and am having the same problems there. My phone reception at work has also become patchy.

I’m wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same problems and if you have any suggestions for improving coverage. I don’t have a land line or wireless Internet at home, just the mobile devices.

I don’t see any point in approaching Telstra about it. The people I’ve spoken to in the past either don’t care or are powerless to do anything.

Cheers

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Deteriorating Telstra mobile coverage
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miz 8:15 pm 10 Dec 12

Mossrocket, I got faster broadband for the same cost (ie, better product, no increase in price) both times. If they were trying to ‘up sell’, it didn’t work on me and I got a good deal!

caf 6:40 pm 10 Dec 12

Telstra has a Network Coverage Feedback form that actually goes to the engineers responsible. I guess reporting your blackspot won’t guarantee it’ll be fixed, but it can’t hurt.

c_c™ 6:28 pm 10 Dec 12

thatsnotme said :

If the issue for the OP is just congestion, then it shouldn’t matter where in the house they are.!

Not correct.

c_c™ 6:27 pm 10 Dec 12

Ok folks, let’s get some things sorted out.

Firstly, coverage vs network load. Very unlikely around Canberra that on Telstra you’re having coverage issues. Much more likely to be load on the network. There’s only so much wireless spectrum available and only so many cell towers to service the available spectrum in each area.

It’s something Optus and Vodafone have had issues with for a long time, mainly because they sold their networks and wholesale network access very cheaply and widely.

Telstra has until recently kept their network exclusive (save for some sharing with Three until they joined VHA). But as demand has grown and they have opened up to wholesale buyers, Telstra too is suffering.

Second, 4G is an alternative though what they currently call 4G is really a evolved version of 3G data. It’s faster, and it uses a different part of the spectrum so for a time it will offer some respite.

Third, this is going to be an ongoing issue for sometime until the digital dividend is sold and developed. That will open up the very large and in terms of signal, very robust 700mhz spectrum once used for analogue television, something that will likely be developed into true 4G.

Gungahlin Al 4:37 pm 10 Dec 12

mossrocket said :

Al – you’re a smart fellow (whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with) but your line of argument here is flawed – not only is it a straw man argument (which falsely assumes the NBN will improve wireless internet speeds even though it is definitely wired internet, when the Coalition plan will definitely improve wireless speeds), but it also goes to prove why the Greens were decimated in the last ACT election – cheerleading…

If only you’d run as an Independent…

Mossrocket, as others have said here, congestion is at the root of the issue. The more of the core traffic that is carried on a strong backbone network, the more manageable wireless congestion is. I would have thought…

qbninthecity said :

no wonder it “disappears during the Ainslie bit of the bus ride along Northbourne Ave” cos Ainslie doesn’t exist on Northbourne you twat

Yet you knew exactly where I was talking about didn’t you? Yes that Wakefield/Visitors Centre/flats area, which is at the respective ends of Dickson and Braddon, but just two blocks from the centre of Ainslie.

Yes Grail – that would likely have a lot to do with it. Probably exacerbated a bit by my phone being an older iPhone 4, but not that badly. Cheers others.

qbninthecity 4:21 pm 10 Dec 12

Chop71 said :

He may be green but he isn’t a twat.

Ease up on the name calling

that would be your opinion, not mine

thatsnotme 4:20 pm 10 Dec 12

Let’s get our terms straight here. Coverage is the ability for you to pick up a signal from a tower at all. Capacity will dictate whether having coverage is actually worth anything, or if there’s so much congestion that you’re not getting any data through anyway. A heavily congested tower won’t stop you getting decent coverage though – the signal is still being broadcast, you just can’t talk properly over it.

If the issue for the OP is just congestion, then it shouldn’t matter where in the house they are. If it’s signal, then only being able to get coverage in certain places makes some sense. Signal issues would affect the ability to make and receive phone calls / SMS too though, so if they’re all working, you’re likely looking at congestion.

Honestly? You could change providers, and try to find one with a more reliable coverage, but eventually you’ll probably run into the same issue again. If you can get ADSL, that’s the way I’d go, and then rely on wireless at home. Far more reliable and consistent, and you may be able to move to lower data plans on your mobile devices given you’re not consuming any mobile data at home, which may help to offset the costs of paying for a landline and ADSL.

This problem won’t get better any time soon – more and more mobile devices are coming online all the time, and the telcos can’t keep up with them. Not many people enjoy having a new mobile tower erected in their neighbourhood either!

mossrocket 4:16 pm 10 Dec 12

Chop71 said :

He may be green but he isn’t a twat.

Ease up on the name calling

? I hope you didn’t mean me…

chewy14 3:56 pm 10 Dec 12

qbninthecity said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Telstra 3G is woeful in areas of Downer and Dickson, and completely disappears during the Ainslie bit of the bus ride along Northbourne Ave. It’s also frequently incapable of handling anything more than a tweet in City Walk during weekday lunchtimes.

But hey, Tony Abbott and Malcom Turnbull reckon wireless is all we need for all our internet, so why bother with this NBN nonsense right? Right?

no wonder it “disappears during the Ainslie bit of the bus ride along Northbourne Ave” cos Ainslie doesn’t exist on Northbourne you twat

Jeez, it’s about 300m off Northbourne, I think most people knew the area he was talking about.

Do you pull people up for errant apostrophe’s in their comments as well?

Chop71 3:43 pm 10 Dec 12

He may be green but he isn’t a twat.

Ease up on the name calling

Grail 3:42 pm 10 Dec 12

The “Ainslie bit” of Northbourne Avenue is probably the bit of Northbourne where all the high rise apartments are located: Dickson and Braddon. There are apartments on Lowanna Street, Dooring Street, Majura Avenue, etc. No doubt most of those have at leat two devices trying to use 3G at any time of day leading to several hundred customers hanging off one tower.

Between the cars with their always on handsets, the folks in the bus and the kids at school (Daramalan, Dickson College, etc) it is surprising that there is any service at all.

qbninthecity 3:21 pm 10 Dec 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Telstra 3G is woeful in areas of Downer and Dickson, and completely disappears during the Ainslie bit of the bus ride along Northbourne Ave. It’s also frequently incapable of handling anything more than a tweet in City Walk during weekday lunchtimes.

But hey, Tony Abbott and Malcom Turnbull reckon wireless is all we need for all our internet, so why bother with this NBN nonsense right? Right?

no wonder it “disappears during the Ainslie bit of the bus ride along Northbourne Ave” cos Ainslie doesn’t exist on Northbourne you twat

Holden Caulfield 3:15 pm 10 Dec 12

NellyBean said :

…I’m on Telstra 3G, with an Iphone 3GS, I live in Dickson and work in Tuggeranong and regularly take bus trips down Northbourne…

I think the trick to experiencing the drop outs on Northbourne is to find the bit that goes through Ainslie. You might need to try platform 9¾.

😉

gtlloyd 3:09 pm 10 Dec 12

justsomeaussie said :

If you dial *3001#12345#* on your iphone it will convert the reception bars to a decibel level. Much easier to understand if its better or worse.

Dialing it again it make it refer back to normal.

At least my issue is not one of signal strength, but of capacity. I routinely have 4 iPhone bars, but cannot get a single byte of mobile data out of the link. Text messages seem to work.

mossrocket 3:06 pm 10 Dec 12

miz said :

Telstra still gets my vote. Re mobiles, two of my teens who know their stuff have both switched back to Telstra – one from Vodafone and one from Optus (after a brief flirtation with Virgin, which was assessed as even more hopeless than the other two). Their reasoning: all telcos are happy to flog stuff to you, but only Telstra actually offers what could reasonably be called ‘after sales service’. The Optus shop in Tuggers is particularly woeful.
That said, one of my daughters has been experiencing difficulties of late in the early-mid evening (she rang me to find out if I was experiencing the same problem, but as I was agog watching Supernatural on the telly at the time, I wasn’t experiencing any problems whatsoever!).
Re internet, Telstra has actually called me twice in the last couple of years to check if I am happy and whether my plan is meeting my needs. Definitely thumbs up to Telstra.

lol – maybe they don’t really ‘know their stuff’ – and the proof in that pudding is switching back to Telstra…
btw – beware the calls from sales staff asking if you are happy with your plan – not only are they not really telstra (insert any telco here) staff, their only concern is upselling…

mossrocket 3:03 pm 10 Dec 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Chop71 said :

The new Al, I love this sort of banter.
Improved wireless would be great and much cheaper (and with a quicker roll out) than the NBN or we could go back to the green policy of smoke signals. Right?

Appreciate the sentiment Chop, but pretty sure I’ve said much the same things, in much the same way, throughout my years on RA. 🙂

Al – you’re a smart fellow (whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with) but your line of argument here is flawed – not only is it a straw man argument (which falsely assumes the NBN will improve wireless internet speeds even though it is definitely wired internet, when the Coalition plan will definitely improve wireless speeds), but it also goes to prove why the Greens were decimated in the last ACT election – cheerleading…

If only you’d run as an Independent…

justsomeaussie 2:26 pm 10 Dec 12

If you dial *3001#12345#* on your iphone it will convert the reception bars to a decibel level. Much easier to understand if its better or worse.

Dialing it again it make it refer back to normal.

NellyBean 2:14 pm 10 Dec 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Telstra 3G is woeful in areas of Downer and Dickson, and completely disappears during the Ainslie bit of the bus ride along Northbourne Ave. It’s also frequently incapable of handling anything more than a tweet in City Walk during weekday lunchtimes.

I’m on Telstra 3G, with an Iphone 3GS, I live in Dickson and work in Tuggeranong and regularly take bus trips down Northbourne.

I have never had an issue in any of those places you have mentioned.

Full signal strength everywhere in Canberra for me. I’m regularly tethering it to the work laptop and get a decent speed for 3G (between 1.1 and 2.3Mb/s download).

maybe I’m just lucky

miz 1:29 pm 10 Dec 12

Telstra still gets my vote. Re mobiles, two of my teens who know their stuff have both switched back to Telstra – one from Vodafone and one from Optus (after a brief flirtation with Virgin, which was assessed as even more hopeless than the other two). Their reasoning: all telcos are happy to flog stuff to you, but only Telstra actually offers what could reasonably be called ‘after sales service’. The Optus shop in Tuggers is particularly woeful.
That said, one of my daughters has been experiencing difficulties of late in the early-mid evening (she rang me to find out if I was experiencing the same problem, but as I was agog watching Supernatural on the telly at the time, I wasn’t experiencing any problems whatsoever!).
Re internet, Telstra has actually called me twice in the last couple of years to check if I am happy and whether my plan is meeting my needs. Definitely thumbs up to Telstra.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 1:18 pm 10 Dec 12

Grail said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

People who have no idea about this sort of thing are the only ones harping on about wireless.
The tech is just not ready yet.

When will wireless ever be ready for mainstream broadband? It has its uses for mobile users or sparse population where running cables to every house will be prohibitively expensive.

4g sounds promising but the problem here is, as far as I know, Telstra is only selling fake 4g.

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