Optimising mobile reception

Coverage and good reception are both very important to mobile users.

It’s really important to check that you will have coverage where you need it before you purchase a mobile service. Talk to your mobile service provider and check the coverage map that they provide to see what kind of coverage you can expect.

Don’t forget to check at home, work and other locations where you will want to use your mobile, for example, your favourite holiday spot. Sometimes it can help to ask neighbours or colleagues about the reception they experience before choosing a mobile network.

And there are ways you can safely and legally optimise your mobile reception if needed. For example, mobile repeaters can be used if they have been authorised for use by your mobile carrier. Repeaters need to be authorised and properly installed because they can otherwise cause interference with the network that can impinge on coverage and reception.

Mobile phone boosters, on the other hand, are banned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as they will always cause significant interference to mobile networks and can impede access to Triple Zero. Use of an illegal booster can result in serious fines.

Here are some ways you can optimise mobile reception:

  • check with your service provider to see which mobile handsets they recommend as some handsets may be better suited for rural use or areas with more limited coverage
  • your service provider may recommend an additional antenna or other equipment for your mobile handset if you will be using it in rural and remote areas
  • car kits that enable connection (directly-coupled) between the phone and the external antenna on the car roof can improve reception
  • patchleads can be used to connect a mobile to an external antenna and may be a more economical alternative to a car kit
  • antennas or femtocells (a small base station that can be used in a home or office) to enhance coverage indoors may also be available from your service provider