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Montaza
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Concerned that mobile connectivity disrupted for whole of Balingup, WA

On Thursday afternoon, 4 August 2016, we had difficulties using our mobile phones. We are both with Telstra. 

The Service Status page was not that helpful. It said there were maintenance issues for 2G, 3G and 4G which would be fixed by 10 August.

Another message said: "Customers may experience difficulties making and receiving calls or using data via their mobile service." for 3G mobiles.

I tried using Telstra 24/7 on Facebook with messages. The response was quite quick, but I wasn't told anything more than what was posted on the Service Status page. A worrying aspect is that the end time for the interruption was listed as TBC which after enquiring I was told stood for To Be Confirmed.

However on Friday I did receive a call - which did not drop out thankfully - from Telstra SW saying that there were upgrades to the Balingup mobile service to improve both capacity and cater for 3G and 4G and 4G extended (or similar). However, there had been a hardware problem and the part would be installed sometime on Friday afternoon. Until this was installed we would have irregular reception - sometimes it would work, but would frequently drop out. Only Balingup was affected so on hill tops we might get better reception, probably from the Newlands tower.

Balingup is in hilly terrain and we are somewhat isolated from other towns, ie 12 kms to the little town of Kirup and about 30 km to the bigger centres of Donnhybrook or Bridgetown.

We watched two workers on the Balingup tower Friday afternoon, so maybe the hardware was not fixed on Friday because today we have mostly had only one bar and only occasional reception.

Balingup_mobile_tower_DSCF2504.jpg

We feel somewhat isolated because it is stormy weather and we can't communicate readily if there is problem. Fortunately, the NBN  Fixed Wireless Broadband is working so we do have internet and emails. At this stage the Service Status page is still saying TBC.

Telstra is a communications company.

It would be good if Telstra could communicate better with us and update us with what is happening. When is the hardware problem likely to be fixed? when is the estimated time of mobile restoration?

If we have an emergency we are at some risk of not being able to communicate rapidly with the outside world.

We are looking forward to an improved mobile service - sooner rather than later, please!

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2 REPLIES 2
Level 23: Superhero

Re: Concerned that mobile connectivity disrupted for whole of Balingup, WA

Speaking honestly, if they don't have a time that they know it's going to be fixed, what more than TBC do you expect? They thought they could fix it by a certain time, but obviously it turned out to be more complex and rather than give another potential incorrect deaadline they are saying honestly they don't know when it will be fixed.

Also, having a large technical explanation of the issues and steps being taken to fix it also wouldn't fix it any faster. In fact it only invite 'armchair experts' to weigh in without a full picture.
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Montaza
Level 5: Eagle Eye

Re: Concerned that mobile connectivity disrupted for whole of Balingup, WA

TBC is hardly helpful.  It is not even explained as to what this piece of jargon stands for. And to be told that TBC translates as "To Be Confirmed" doesn't advance one's understanding of when there might be a fix. I did get some feedback from the Telstra people in the SW who explained that there were upgrades in place and that unfortunately there had been a hardware fault and they were waiting for a new part. This was good to know and useful. And could have been broadcast.

The part took longer to arrive than the Telstra local people had predicted when they contacted me again Monday to give me an update, but was eventually installed and the mobile coverage rectified sometime late Monday afternoon though by that time I was on my way to Perth for an appointment on the Tuesday.

Robust mobile coverage is vital to us in this isolated area of country in SW WA. It is not that easy to pick up a signal from somewhere else with our hilly terrain. Sometimes it would work over the four days, but it would flick in and out, with only one bar showing, if at all.

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