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GregW
Level 13: Super Sleuth

Options to boost mobile reception in the home without breaking the budget?

I am seeking options and/or ideas on how I can boost our mobile phone coverage in our home.

We live in a small rural town and despite a recent local tower upgrade to 4G our phone signal is poor in the house and we often need to go outside and up the hill a little to get a a stable connection.   The annoying part is that the actual tower is only 1.75kms from us.

 

The best we get is one bar and rarely 2 bars in the closest room near the window to where our local tower is.  Move out of that room and it is no signal, one bar, no signal, one bar .....Outside just up from the house (slight slope upwards) we get 3 to 4 bars all the time and a little further it is constant 4G full signal.

I'm assuming it is related to other technology in the house that is probably causing interference with too many computers, printers, wifi, EOP, modem, smart tv, foxtel, game consoles, tablets and mobile data and so on....

I have spent time chatting to the T-Reps on the phone and chat and after many restarts, resets, updates and the rest of their never ending troubleshoot circles it clearly shows that it is not a device issue.

 

We have tested quite a few mobile handsets to see if that improves it at all, e.g. iPhones 4, 4s, 5, 5s and 6s, plus Samsung s6 and s8's.  But really makes little to no difference on any of them.  

 

I know there are the $1000 devices you can buy from Telstra to boost signal but that is just simply too much when you also need to add an antenna (roughly $1300 all up).  There are plenty of other boosters available on the internet but from what I have read they are illegal.

Are there any other options/suggestions please?

~~ If you don't ask ~~

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7 REPLIES 7
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Options to boost mobile reception in the home without breaking the budget?

The regulations around boosters are pretty restrictive here in Australia, something they don’t have in a lot of countries overseas. We do it to help protect essential services and prevent issues caused by interference. Which is why in part they are restricted and there is only certain approved devices. The Telstra one isn’t the only approved one but the others aren’t far off in price.
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Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Options to boost mobile reception in the home without breaking the budget?

Just a suggestion, have you tried locking your mobile phone network to 3G only?

I used to live in a rural area, the closest tower was about 18km away from our house. I set my Samsung S6 to 3G only and got full signal. On 4G I'd get 1 or 2 bars.

I'm not sure how to set this on an IPhone, @DrQ might be able to help you here.
I am NOT a Telstra employee and never have been. However, I AM a customer who volunteer's my time in the hope to help someone with their question.
To show your appreciation to myself or another member, please click on the LIKE or mark as a SOLUTION for any post that you have found helpful on this forum.
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Options to boost mobile reception in the home without breaking the budget?

Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Enable 4G > Off
Helpful Links

Internet not working or outage in your area? - Check the Outage page for details and troubleshooting.
Help with an account issue? - LiveChat 24x7 support
View Usage, Bills and more - Check it out on MyAccount

Previously worked with a Telstra Partner however I am not a Telstra Employee, just a fellow customer helping when I can.

Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Options to boost mobile reception in the home without breaking the budget?

Hello
I have the same problem.
If you haven't set your phone to 3g WCDMA Only... please try that first.
4g will operate on less signal bars than 3g.
If the above fails..your only low cost alternative is to leave your phone where there is signal and get something like a baby monitor to amplify the ring.
The professional solution is a Telstra Smart Antenna and try without the external antenna to save money.
It's more than an antenna...but buy it on the proviso that you can return it. Thank you
A "Like" is always appreciated. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. One of my mottos: "Believe in yourself, and you can accomplish anything".
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Options to boost mobile reception in the home without breaking the budget?

Your lack of signal inside the house is related to a number of factors. The biggest being lack of line of sight to the tower (if you have to walk up the hill to get decent reception, then the signal isn't getting to your house in the first place), and most likely the construction materials in your house (metal roof, foil insulation being the biggest killers).
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Angelman
Level 1: Cadet

Re: Options to boost mobile reception in the home without breaking the budget?

These are authorised to be used with the Telstra network. Not cheap though, but will certainly solve your problem of mobile signal in the house. I have no affiliation with the company, I just have a few of the units in remote locations and they work. 

http://www.cel-fi.com.au/cel_fi_telstra_4g_4gx.html

Thanks,
Michael
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Options to boost mobile reception in the home without breaking the budget?

@Angelman, the Cel-fi units are sold by Telstra as "Smart Antennas". Yes, not cheap, but they work. If there is no reception immediately outside the house though, an external antenna on the roof may be required.
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.

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