Level 2: Rookie

Unusable in the Afternoon

Good Morning All, 
I wonder if there is someone that might be able to give me a hand.  I’m still waiting on a call back from Telstra, but I won’t hold my breath.  
Our service has been becoming increasingly terrible.  We live rural, nearest tower 15kms away.  We operate with a Nighthawk M2 modem.  A few months ago, it was suggested to put in a cel-fi booster with yagi antenna.  Spent that money including having that installed and for 2 weeks service was great. And I’ll admit, not a phone call drop out since.  But a month ago our internet became unusable of an afternoon, and don’t even bother trying to start up Netflix of a night time.  And I can’t even load a speed test page to keep a copy of that for when, or even if a technician will ever call me back.  I have incredibly frustrated children remote learning from home, and myself also working from home. 
I’ve done all the reset the modem, take the SIM card out & reinstall, made sure I have the current update etc etc  I’ve even grabbed an older Nighthawk modem from work.  And still, at around 11am every morning our internet dies and becomes unusable.  Interestingly though, internet from our phones is OKish.  Not fab, but it can normally get us by.  But I’m forever having to spend further money topping up the kids phone plans so they can school. 
I’m no tech wizz, but google tells me our tower is chocked.  And we seem to be last in line to pick up any service.  Both the tech support guys that I have spoken with online over the last week have spent and hour each only to tell me that our service should be fine and I should hear from tech support within 48 hours.  
So I guess my question is.  Is there a better device that may work? Anything else I can try before I speak with another provider, and perhaps the ombudsman to recoup some of the money I have already outlayed for nothing!!!

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Unusable in the Afternoon

If your mobile phones are with Telstra, then it points to a problem with the Cel Fi.


Is the Cel Fi in a shaded position, or is it copping direct sunlight (especially after 11am)?


It could also be a problem with the local tower. Can you share the location of that tower (doesn't have to be overly accurate location - town name and state usually suffices - possibly direction from nearest town can help locate it).

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

Re: Unusable in the Afternoon

Thanks for your response Jupiter.  
Cel-Fi is inside, so no issues with shade there.  The yagi antenna that it is attached to is right on the peak of our roof, so no shading or issues there either.  
The tower is at Lake Boga, Victoria.  I was given a map when I purchased the equipment, to give to the installer, so he knew where he was to point the antenna.  And it was completely fine for about 2 weeks after it was installed.  
Right now, internet is working perfectly.  Although, I can also guarantee, that this afternoon it will be unusable again. 

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Unusable in the Afternoon

I'll assume that it is the tower at M&E Plumbing and Irrigation on the Southern End of the Lake that your antenna is directed at. It's got the full range of 3G/4G/5G antennas on it, so it should give you the best chance of a connection.


It could be a tower fault or (unlikely given the location and that it was working) environmental factors changing the signal characteristics as the air warms and dries.


Send an email to Basestation.Enquiries@team.telstra.com and give them the following information:

  • Your Contact Details
  • The location of the tower
  • The equipment that you have (include the Cel-Fi model #)
  • A description of what happens - include information about your mobile phones as well.


The reason why I say to include the mobile phone information is that your phones may be connecting to a different band than the Cel-Fi.


The Cel-Fi can connect to Band 5 – 3G(850MHz), Band 28 – 4G(700MHz), Band 3 – 4G(1800MHz), but can only connect to one Band at a time. You can set that in the settings of the Cel-Fi.


Band 28 (700MHz) has the longest range in the 4G space. It may be worth setting it to 3G (850MHz) temporarily to see what effect it has as well. If you do that, you should include your observations in your email. Every little bit of information helps them work out what is happening.


The tower supports 

3G 850MHz
4GX 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz
5G 850MHz, 3500MHz
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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