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Wisemans Ferry reception causes anguish for mobile customer

21 Feb 2017

A WISEMANS Ferry resident had no mobile reception for almost two weeks in January and can’t find out why. 

Steven Marlborough lives at Wisemans Ferry on a pension and does not have a landline as it is cheaper to have a mobile. The no-phone period started on January 21 with a blackout and then the phone reception disappeared. It did not come on again until February 2. “The internet was out for a week too,” he said.

He said his carrier is Medion, an Aldi company, but they use Telstra infrastructure. Medion told him they did not know why he had no service, and said to contact Telstra. 

When there was a drowning down the road on January 29, Mr Marlborough said neighbours couldn’t ring out on their mobiles from the riverbank to alert the searching helicopter that they had found the person. 

Mr Marlborough said despite repeated calls to his carrier and to Telstra, he could not ascertain why he had no reception. “They didn’t let us know it was going to happen, and didn’t tell us how long it would be,” he said. “When the businesses at Wisemans Ferry complained, they got service after a week.

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Optus' $4 million plan to end blackspots in Coffs

21 Feb 2017

IRRITATING mobile black spots may be a thing of the past with Optus today announcing a $4.3 million commitment to improve 3G and 4G coverage across Coffs Harbour.

The mobile giant has recently completed $1.3 million of work to build three new sites at Urunga South, Woolgoolga Central and Bonville.

Around $3 million has now been earmarked for mobile sites at Boambee, Sawtell South, North Boambee Valley, Diggers Beach, Moonee Beach and Corindi Beach.

Optus NSW State Manager, Dylan Harrad-Chantler, said the investment will improve mobile coverage and customer experience for Coffs' residents and the town's 1.5 million annual visitors.

"We are committed to improving mobile coverage and providing faster internet download speeds for people living, working and visiting Coffs Harbour,” he said.

"The network handles over 50 million calls, 65 million SMS messages and carries 600 terabytes of data every day. This growing demand for mobile services is why we are continuously investing and working closely with council and the community to determine locations for new sites.”

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Mid February Update

18 Feb 2017

Telstra continues its major push this fortnight with 11 new sites as well as 70 site upgrades but also proposing a further 191 tower upgrades all with 4G900. Telstra is continuing its older 4G1800 rollout with its more recent 4G700 rollout with its new 4G900 rollout with mid this year being a major target, aiming for 99% population coverage.  Telstra currently claims 98% coverage while Optus is claiming 95.9%, however my personal experience recently switching from Optus to Telstra, I got far more 4G on Optus.

Optus has gotten the year off with a slow start and thigs haven’t changed much, it managed 16 new sites and only 46 site upgrades. Optus continues to roll out 4G700 primarily but also the higher bands where appropriate. Optus may be waiting for it 2G switch off in April 1st, perhaps it will do what Telstra did and ramp up shortly after.

Vodafone after its bit of a bang last report continues to plod along with 3 new sites as well as 13 upgrades with most of the upgrades relating to 4G850.

NBN activated 9 sites all on the east side of Australia including SA, as well as upgrading a further 6 sites.

The low band 700mhz 4G gap between Optus and Telstra has decreased by 16 sites as Telstra continues to ramp up. Optus is still ahead of Telstra however in 4G700 by 1086 sites.

New towers set to improve mobile coverage

18 Feb 2017

OPTUS has talked up a $7 million commitment to the region with plans underway to build 13 new towers between Redridge and Avondale and out to Bargara.

Optus state manager Mark O'Shea said the investment would improve 3G and 4G mobile coverage across Bundaberg and the Wide Bay Burnett region for residents and small business operators.

"We understand the need to consistently improve mobile coverage and provide faster mobile internet download services for people living, working and visiting Bundaberg,” he said.

"We recently completed work to build a new tower at Bundaberg West which has improved coverage at the hospital.

"Planning is underway to build 13 new towers across the region at Bundaberg Airport, Bargara Lakes, Bundaberg Tafe, Goodwood Rd, Redridge North, Kepnock, Alloway, Avoca, Gooburrum North, Innes Park, Kalkie, Apple Tree Creek and Avondale.

"These new towers will benefit motorists with improved coverage along Goodwood Rd and Bundaberg-Lowmead Rd.

"Commuters alike will also enjoy improved coverage and faster mobile download speeds when travelling on the train along the North Coast Railway and at the airport.”

As part of the $7 million investment Optus is working with the Queensland State and Federal governments to build two sites under the mobile blackspots program.

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Mobile coverage: Residents call for action sooner rather than later

18 Feb 2017

Northern Grampians residents have spoken in favour of regulated national roaming which could see Telstra, Optus and Vodafone sharing their networks.

The move would ensure residents can pick up a signal from the nearest tower, regardless of which telco built it.

Landsborough resident and Glenkara Vineyard manager Ian O’Brien said anything to improve mobile service in the area would be supported.

“We would support anything that would make our lives that little bit easier,” he said.

“It would be a big help to everyone in the district, we definitely get used to living without reception in Landsborough, but it’s time we see some action sooner rather than later.”

Member for Mallee Andrew Broad also spoke out in favour of regulated national roaming.

“I think if we are going to prepare for the future, we need to ensure that if you are driving down the road and your phone can pick up a Telstra tower, it does; if it can pick up an Optus tower, it does; if it can pick up a Vodafone tower, it does,” he said.

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Fed up of blackspots in Beachmere

18 Feb 2017

SINCE the dawn of technology, the Palm Lakes Beachmere Sands Retirement Village has resided in the middle of a telecommunication blackspot, but that's about to change thanks to a little help from 75-year-old Pauline Holehouse.

After years of trying to get something done, Ms Holehouse started a petition that garnered more than 200 signatures and was submitted to Longman MP Susan Lamb's office.

"I've lived in Beachmere Sands Retirement Village for eight years and always had terrible reception with mobile phones,” she said.

"I'd made many complaints as had other people, but the only offer from Telstra was to buy an aerial, but I said, 'come off it, I pay for my phone and we're so close to a major city, we should be getting reception.

"It's a major problem because we're all over the age of 60 and when you get appointments from your doctor or the hospital, they come through text message.”

Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash said she would honour what was an election promise by former Longman MP Wyatt Roy at the last election to build a new tower during round three of the Mobile Black Spot Program.

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Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router Review: Dreaming of Gigabit

14 Feb 2017

When Telstra, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Netgear got together recently to launch a new product we knew it was going to be something special.  And the expectations created from the launch of what Telstra is calling GigabitLTE are high.

I’ve been testing the all-new Netgear Nighthawk M1 mobile router for a little while now, in optimal conditions and regional Australia and I think what we have here is the best portable hotspot on the market – worthy of the more fitting name – Mobile Router.

Remember the tests and demos Telstra did where speeds in excess of 800 or 900Mpbs were achieved.  Those were essentially lab tests.  The real world is a few pegs down, but still super impressive.

Telstra told us at the launch that in real-world conditions you’d expect more like 300-350Mpbs downloads at best, with 150Mpbs upload speeds.

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Telstra should use landline and payphone money to build new mobile towers in the Wimmera: Andrew Broad

14 Feb 2017

MEMBER for Mallee Andrew Broad has called on Telstra to use its fixed-line phone savings to help improve mobile reception for grain farmers.

Mr Broad told Parliament on Monday that Telstra was saving up to $100 million thanks to the National Broadband Network’s plan to replace landline phones.

“Right across the electorate of Mallee we have had a wonderful harvest. There is grain everywhere. We are now harvesting the table grapes,” Mr Broad said.

“One thing that was evident across the harvest was people's inability to make a mobile phone call.

“This is a safety issue; this is a tourism issue; this is about people wanting to access data whilst they are trying to sit there and get their harvest off.”

Mr Broad accused Telstra of contributing to the problem by not building mobile phone towers off its own bat in Mallee.

“The argument that Telstra puts forward that they have to make a profit in the city, and therefore they are going to build towers in the bush does not ring true,” Mr Broad said.

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Telstra's Gateway Frontier Modem Gives You A 4G Backup For Your ADSL Or NBN

14 Feb 2017

It seems like the days of actual internet outages are coming to an end. Telstra's new Gateway Frontier modem router will give you 4G wireless internet while you wait for your NBN or other wired connection to be installed, and in the case of a wired network outage it'll automatically switch over to its backup 4G to keep you connected.

Telstra's New Frontier Gateway Modem Includes A 4G SIM For Backup Internet

Telstra's calling it the world's first "all-in-one" modem. Once purchased and plugged in at the user's home, it'll connect to Telstra's 4G network within a couple of minutes, and give them access to the 'net until such time as a proper, wired, higher-speed internet connection is hooked up. That same 4G connection will kick in as a backup if the wired network fails, too, and Telstra says it'll also come in handy for when you're moving house.

Up to 20 wireless devices can be connected simultaneously using the Frontier's fast 802.11ac, 4x4 MIMO Wi-Fi. The router, developed in conjuction with Aussie design consultancy Design + Industry, is also meant to look attractive enough that you'll be happy to keep it out in your living room or a public area rather than hidden away in a cupboard — likely with poor 4G reception.

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Radiation at Torrens Creek tower a worry

14 Feb 2017

TORRENS  Creek residents are worried a new 35m Telstra tower in the town is too close to housing and could pose a health hazard.

Residents Peter Noreiks and Wendy Leung say their homes in the town east of Hughenden are too close to the tower and that it could give off radiation that may affect health.

Ms Leung, who lives 15m from where the tower will stand in Torrens St, is mother to Sean, 10, and Benjamin, 1.

“I’m worried about the constant radio waves and the ­affect they might have on our health,” she said.

Mr Noreiks, who lives across the road from where the tower will stand on Telstra-owned land, said he was worried about the health aspects.

He said there were other homeowners nearby who had similar concerns.

“We would like them to put it on a ridge 2km to the west of town. That would be common sense. It would give them a greater phone coverage area along the Flinders Highway to the east and west, and south down the Aramac road,” Mr Noreiks said.

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