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Level 2: Rookie

Telstra Mobile coverage

Apologies if the location of this post is incorrect.

Up until a couple of years ago our mobile phones had reception right throughout our house … in the last 6 months or so - NOT!

We live in suburban Perth and a couple of hundred metres (as the crow flies) from our local shopping centre (up on a bit of a hill) which has telecommunication antennas on its roof. I will assume that Telstra owns some of that rooftop infrastructure.

Most of the time we get no signal in the house, then sometimes we get 1 bar and the phone goes off with received sms and missed calls. We miss calls and calls also drop out in mid conversation.

I raised this issue some time ago via email to Telstra and today I received an email response that the technical people has looked at my problem and that we were in an area of patchy IRC (whatever that means) and we should get ourselves a TMSA (which I have found out is an antenna or sorts that will amplify the signal).

The technophobe's response was that the problem could be road works in the area, building works in the area, our house and what it was built of, solar panels on the roof, my phone cover. They stopped short of blaming our cat! Well there are no roadworks, no building works, our house is the same as pretty much every other house in the area, we do not have solar panels and my phone cover is not a problem in other suburban areas.

Today I spoke with a total of 3 different people. The first lady obviously thought my problem was too difficult for her so she transferred me to account queries, who in turn transferred me to a gent who went off and told me that the antennas were working very well and there was nothing he could do for me.

My point is this, I am paying for a service which is not being delivered, well not within my house, I do get service on the road and in other suburbs … just not where I actually live.

It seems that I can go and stand next to my neighbour's fence and I get a 1 bar signal, but this is not really an option - especially on wet days.

It seems that my only option is a TMSA … but at a rather high cost.

Can anyone shed any light on possible solutions that don't require between $400 and $1100 expenditure.

Has anyone else had this issue and how was it solved?

I would appreciate any assistance I can get.

Thanks

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16 REPLIES 16
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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

Have you changed phones in that time?
What type of phone are you using?
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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.

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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

Also have you had your SIM card changed in that time as well?
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.

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

And which shopping centre is near you?
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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Level 23: Superhero

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

As you've already been asked exactly what brand/s and models of phones?
It's very possible the Telstra cell site is not on the shopping centre.
Its possible that there's a new construction between the actual cell site and your house.
Its possible but improbable that (both) ?? your phones are faulty or the network settings are incorrect.
Its also quite probable that Telstra had reoriented the antennas as every cell site has 3 different sectors (directions) and you are in between sectors.
Its also possible that because of an additional cell site in the area, and you are mistaken where the nearest base station is.... Telstra have retuned the surrounding base stations downwards power...to accommodate the new cell site.
Finally, with the addition of 4G the last 2 years there could be interference or intermodulation product causing your issues.
A Telstra Go stationary repeater is around $1000 and the external input antenna installed is around $600. Expert installation and set up is absolutely critical as its not something a regular antenna installer would know.
I use such a device as I also have a base station nearby... but with 2 other networks causing intermodulations which are impossible to remedy.
To try to isolate your issue we must know exactly where the shopping centre is.... as the site may not be there and we have to eliminate some possibilities.
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 75 years of age, entitles one to be an expert at everything!!"
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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

Well to answer all the questions:

We are using Samsung J7 Prime mobiles - not yet 2 years old, so we have had new SIMs for these phones, and they work just fine as during this time we have used them in Europe and in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Our shopping centre is the Mezz in Mount Hawthorn (suburban Perth, postcode 6016).

There have been no new buildings between our house and centre, so the landscape had not changed.

I'm assuming (dangerous to assume anything I know) that the Telstra antennas are at the shopping centre as the technophobe from Telstra mentions Mount Hawthorn in the email. Besides it is the only place in the suburb that I can see comms antennas.

What you have said about the re-orientation of the antennas is my gut feeling as well.

I'm not about to pay what you mention in your response as, whilst it is my problem, I have not caused the problem so in my mind it is Telstra's problem. As I mentioned they are now selling me a faulty service.

You mention phone settings. How does one check the phone settings to ensure they are correct. We have selected our network provider as Telstra, but is more to that??

Thanks for your help.

Cheers

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

The tower that you are referring to is a 4GX tower, so it has 700MHz, 1800MHz LTE and 850MHz UMTS. Which should give good coverage in the area (and inside buildings).

If you go in to the Connections Settings (then Mobile Networks->Network mode) on the phone and tell it to use 2G/3G only, does it make a difference to the reception?
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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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

The phone says - Network mode 4G/3G/2G (auto connect)
So my understanding of that is that it will connect to whichever of those has the strongest signal.

My apologies on the tower location. There is an actual Telstra exchange building about 70 to 100m distant from the shopping centre and that has antennas. Should not make any difference. The Telstra exchange is located at the corner of Scarborough Beach Road and Oxford Streets in Mount Hawthorn.
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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

No, it will connect to the highest available tech.

Click on it and select 3G/2G in order to turn 4G off and see if that improves your situation.
I am trying to see if it is a 4G only issue, or a mobile reception issue in general.
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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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

I have done that and monitored the signal strength for the past couple of minutes and I now have a constant 1 bar of signal showing with the occasional increase to 2 bars of signal.
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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

The Telstra Tower is at the exchange (I'm assuming in the fake chimney), not at the shopping center.

I suspect, given the lay of the land, that the best reception from that tower is going to be towards North Perth. This is due to the relatively low antenna position and the way the hill drops off in that direction.

It is possible that if the buildings over the road from the park have added radio transceivers recently, then that could also affect reception.

Have you tried anybody else's phone at your place to rule out a problem with your handset? Saying that it works in other places is not a good indication as it could still be faulty but appear to get good reception where the signal is stronger.

If you can eliminate the handset as an issue, then it would definitely sound like an antenna alignment causing the problems (which could have occurred due to signal optimization, addition of equipment, etc).
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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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

Having a look at the RF maps, the only place that I can see that should have questionable reception is around Rae St. All the other areas seem to be green from one or another Telstra Tower.
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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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

I'll check on phone reception as soon as someone visits who also uses Telstra … could be a few days as the rest of the family all use other carriers. My wife has the same model phone as mine and she suffers the same issue. We have now amended our settings as per your suggestion and the 1 bar of signal is constant most of the time. It disappears but not to the same extent as the previous setting.
I'll log another message when we check on the phone issue and I'll have a look at the maps.

Many thanks for all your efforts, you have been nothing short of brilliant.
Cheers
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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

From what I can see the phone doesn’t support B28 700mHz 4G so that will makes sense that it could be better on 3G.
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.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

That's very interesting and shows my ignorance of these things.
Looks like I need to be better informed as to what bands phones work on and what band width 4G and the soon to be 5G use.
Thanks for your help with this … much appreciated.
As an added question/comment - why, when you talk to Telstra are they not aware of this information?
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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

They have a database of their own devices, but their devices that they sell pretty much are all 700Mhz 4G and 850mhz 3G compatible as they are the two most used bands on the network.

Most of the carriers focus on their own devices and anything outside of that it is general troubleshooting and that is about it.

They do also have their blue tick information which is given to phones that work better in area with lower coverage.
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.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Mobile coverage

Thanks DrQ you have been extremely helpful, very much appreciated.
Cheers

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