alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Answered

Any clues on how to increase bars? I’m in Southbank, Melbourne - you’d expect very good signal in the middle of Australia’s second largest city.

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Accepted Solutions
ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero
Accepted Solution

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Thank you,  it's my previous working experience as stated in my signature. My screen name was carefully thought!!!!

Almost every base station is unique, as antennas are sometimes mounted from above traffic light poles, electricity poles, roof tops 1st floor level to several floors up on roof top level.

Also the vertical angle of the antennas is oriented to traffic. The antennas that Telstra use are electronically vertical adjustable, even though they are mounted 90 degrees. The older Vodafone antennas are often visibly angled.

Telstra would have decided that their major traffic was on lower levels,  though the next base station could be a higher level orientation. It's the luck of the draw, and as I always say, transmitting and receiving a radio signal is essentially an invisible handshake between the base station and the customer.

Reception in aircraft is usually more coincidence from reflection than intent. Antennas are not pointed to radiate in the air.

 

 

 

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge 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. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"

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19 REPLIES 19
Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Is it affecting your service at all?

You also don't say where in Southbank you are only getting one bar. Is it outside on the banks of the Yarra, or is it in one of the buildings (which would lead to the question of are you near a window, which direction s the window facing, is there a building opposite you), or further south, as Southbank extends quite a long way from the river?

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

It’s In an apartment building. Surrounded by windows. Corner of city road and kingsway. No other buildings in front of me. Less than 900 metres from river. Same signal when I’m on balcony. affects call quality from time to time but not too much, more so affects data speed.

Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

I would expect reasonable coverage a that location. There are Telstra transceivers on Crown Metropol (850MHz 3G, 1800MHz 4G), Crown Promenade (850MHz 3G, 1800MHz 4G), 1-25 Balston St (850MHz 3G), 21-27 Moray St (850Mhz 3G, 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2600MHz 4G, 3500MHz 5G).

 

In fact, there are 9 Telstra transceivers within 300m of your location.

 

All the new buildings that have gone up the the past couple of years won't be helping, but I'm surprised that you're only getting 1 bar on the balcony at that location.

 

If you have home broadband, have you tried switching to WiFi on your phone and using VoWifi for your calls, and for your phone data?

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

What floor are you on?

What sort of phone do you use?

Have you compared another Telstra phone in the area you are complaining of?

1 Bar of signal won't affect internet speed. I have barely one bar and I get 200mb/s to 300mb/s with the booster switched off.

Below is an informative briefing on signal bars, especially for iPhones

https://www.cel-fi.com/phonebars/

 

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge 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. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Yes I find it strange too! Yes I can switch to wifi, but shouldn’t need to. Just wondered if there was a quick fix or setting on my iPhone 12 I should check. Sounds like there’s no obvious explanation

alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

I’m on 19th floor 

Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

There's coverage to at least 400m in that location (helicopter flight).

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Ok . Useful to know re Internet speed. Thanks.

 I’m on iPhone 12. 

No other device to compare with unfortunately

ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Do you have clear line of sight coverage to the base stations Jupiter has mentioned? The actual side (direction) of the building that you are on could/would vary.

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge 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. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Yes. In fact I can see crown promenade directly in front of me from my balcony- with no interruptions/ buildings in between

ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Thanks. The speed I mentioned is a Nighthawk mobile broadband modem not a phone.

Radio signal propogation is an "inexact science" and it would be useful to compare with another Telstra phone, preferably a Samsung. Your data speeds are more related to network congestion/customer usage in that location than actual signal.  Go downstairs and make a comparison as I genuinely believe the number of bars there may surprise you.

As each base station has 3 sectors,the signal in  your apartment may be between 2 sectors, as each sector only transmits enough power to try to keep within that specific sector.

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge 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. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Ok I’ll do a check downstairs outside and report back. Thanks 

alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

That video was interesting. It's seems to imply that my signal strength is probably better than it seems, as the bars on iPhone are disproportionately affected by Channel loading - and given how densely populated Southbank is, perhaps that explains it?

ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Thanks, I believe that if you are located in a marginal location/signal area, a Samsung will perform with an iffy signal better than an iPhone, every day of the week.

When you do your ground floor street comparision, stand still and give your phone up to a minute to re=scan and give you accurate signal bars.

Re the video, CelFi actually  make the Telstra boosters.

So, the important take-away is whether you can make, receive and sustain a mobile call, rather than the number of bars, as signal quality is more important than signal strength,

The CelFi Telstra boosters always show signal quality as well as strength in the menu of the controlling Wave app.

 

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge 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. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

You were spot on! Full bars downstairs. Why is that?

ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero
Accepted Solution

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Thank you,  it's my previous working experience as stated in my signature. My screen name was carefully thought!!!!

Almost every base station is unique, as antennas are sometimes mounted from above traffic light poles, electricity poles, roof tops 1st floor level to several floors up on roof top level.

Also the vertical angle of the antennas is oriented to traffic. The antennas that Telstra use are electronically vertical adjustable, even though they are mounted 90 degrees. The older Vodafone antennas are often visibly angled.

Telstra would have decided that their major traffic was on lower levels,  though the next base station could be a higher level orientation. It's the luck of the draw, and as I always say, transmitting and receiving a radio signal is essentially an invisible handshake between the base station and the customer.

Reception in aircraft is usually more coincidence from reflection than intent. Antennas are not pointed to radiate in the air.

 

 

 

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge 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. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"

View solution in original post

alexcg1
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

is there any point in me trying to lobby Telstra to adjust at least one of their towers? there are 18,000 residents in Southbank, and we all live in the sky. Surely that warrants looking at?

ProfessorPhone
Level 23: Superhero

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

Hello again...

One complaint would not change anything. 

It may be that others have better coverage.  They won't reconfigure their multiplicity of cell sites even if you didn't have coverage,  which you say you do.

I'm in the same boat as you with just one bar of signal on the ground floor. No network guarantees coverage. You do have coverage albeit it minimal. That's a real world answer. 

"BEING NICE TO OTHERS .. IS NICE"
If I have helped you, a "Like" would be appreciated.

If my advice is a solution, please acknowledge 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. Expert in current Telstra Go repeaters & smart antennas.
"Being 76 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Only getting 1 bar 4G in central Melbourne

You would probably need to lobby your building management as well. The only way to get better reception in those high-rises is for building management to work with the Telcos to get more transceivers placed on the upper levels of the buildings.

 

In Southbank, the coverage is going to be an issue until the skyline matures. Whilst new buildings are being erected, the signal quality is going to vary dramatically.

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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