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Old 05-04-2016, 17:22   #1
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Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Hi,
Planning a voyage from Pittwater to Airlie Beach in May.
Boat; FP Lavezzi 40.

Anyone with first hand experience of coastal reception (not in port) for Telstra or Optus Cell phone signal your knowledge would be appreciated.
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Old 05-04-2016, 17:36   #2
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Both should have coverage maps on their websites. Up north telstra coverage is better than optus.

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Old 05-04-2016, 18:00   #3
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Don't waste time with Optus even Telstra is touchy in places but it is the best one of the two Cheers have a great trip !!!!
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Old 05-04-2016, 19:57   #4
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Telstra coverage is pretty much 100% of the NSW coast, more patchy in QLD.


Areas in QLD you'll find reception poor or non existent start once you get a bit north of Great Keppel Island. You'll get mostly good reception if you marina hop to Mackay, but if you go through the islands (Dukes, Percys, Scawfell) it's not so great.


Pretty good reception in most of the Whitsundays area, except for the Eastern side of Whitsunday and Hook islands.
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Old 05-04-2016, 20:40   #5
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Telstra is far better, but even in parts of the Whitsundays there is no reception (northern side of Hook, eastern side of some others). We could access out at Lady Musgrave Island which is about 72 km from coast, but I had to hoist the iPhone up the mast and use it as a tethered device to get internet access. You can get a cheap Telstra SIM with reasonable data plan (pre-paid) to use.
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Old 06-04-2016, 15:13   #6
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

telstra is the only way to go, also you might want to put a signal booster cradle with your nav gear, we pick up two extra bars when we did
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Old 06-04-2016, 15:50   #7
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Agree with Telstra is the only way to go and I do have experience. I use boost mobile which is a little less cost on the telstra network. $40 per month pre paid and you get 5gb data and is completely unmetered for calls and sms. Great trip may see you there.

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Old 06-04-2016, 16:58   #8
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

It would be well worth installing an external antenna and an induction cradle for your phone.

This will achieve 2 things:
1. Vastly improved coverage in weaker signal areas
2. Secure protected mounting for your phone so it doesn't fall off tables etc.

Local manufacturer ZCG sells an excellent 6db marine antenna for about $150-ish, and a cradle goes for about $200 from memory. It's doing this if only just for the increased access to weather info. Voice and other internet stuff is a bonus.

Cheers, Graeme
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Old 06-04-2016, 17:09   #9
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Anything other than Telstra is a waste of time and money,
Have just returned from Tassie, crew with optus phone had reception less than 10% of Telstra's.
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Old 06-04-2016, 21:16   #10
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

reckon that just about answers the original question, go Telstra prepaid, use a cheap phone as your WIFI hotspot , put it in a booster cradle and connect to a decent sized laptop for your weather info and emails
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:32   #11
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Telstra works....... most of the time. Don't go too far offshore except for many other reasons to stay offshore.
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:25   #12
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Hi YM, Have to agree with majority of people who have posted here and go with Telstra. Our experience is everthing else is a waste of time. We had Optus but found it just did not cover the area that Telstra did and in fact was just plain bad. For example we would be anchored in Cid Harbour we could not get a signal with Optus but friends with Telstra were getting messages and coveragle all the time.

We made a lot of enquiries and this is what we found. Telstra is the owner of all major phone tower and lines, all the rest of the companies rent their lines from Telstra but Telstra limit the oppositions use of these services. Telstra also have a line of phones which are marketed as "blue tick" phones. We were told they were designed for areas of coverage and are well suited to boaters and people in remote areas. We were also advised to get a aerial for those areas that are a bit iffy. We purchased an el cheapo (blue tick) phone and put $50 credit on it and so far we have had coverage 95% of the time cruising from Sydney to Townsville. I am informed that coverage is relativeluy good to Cairns and then starts to thin out further north.

We have a 4G wi fi modem which has given us very good coverage. While we do have an antenna its not fixed at the top of the mast at this time. We just connect it if needed and put it in the cockpit. If we have a weak internet signal we have been known to put the modem in a weather proof bag and hoist it up to the top of the mast to increase signal in remote and hilly areas such as Island Head Creek. We have had issues with Telstra but we have found they are the best of a bad bunch.

By the way YM when do you plan on leaving and whats the name of your boat.

Hope this is of some assistance
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:45   #13
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

If there is likelihood of reception, then Telstra will be a better bet than any other carrier.
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Old 07-04-2016, 15:28   #14
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clownfishsydney View Post
Telstra is far better, but even in parts of the Whitsundays there is no reception (northern side of Hook, eastern side of some others). We could access out at Lady Musgrave Island which is about 72 km from coast, but I had to hoist the iPhone up the mast and use it as a tethered device to get internet access. You can get a cheap Telstra SIM with reasonable data plan (pre-paid) to use.
Thanks Clownfishsydney,
I was thinking of getting a extention antenna, but if I don't get time for this I will try your idea of putting a cell phone in a bag and hoist it up the mast.
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Old 07-04-2016, 16:07   #15
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Re: Telstra/Optus Reception Coastal East AUS.

Thank you to everyone who posted. Your info is very helpful.

Summary: Telstra has superior coverage.
Get a phone cradle and extension antenna. or host the phone up the mast and hotspot..
Question:
Will a 4G/3G (WiFi) modem with external antenna provide more signal strength than a smart phone in cradle with external antenna?
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