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Best phone for coverage - when out in the bush

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by V2, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Hi all

    I often ride out in the sticks and often find my mobile phone has no coverage. I've heard that CDMA phones get good coverage, but that system is about to go out. I'm with Virgin (I guess just the standard digital package) and it does better than a friend's vodafone.

    As you can tell, I don't know a heap about phones, but what is the best to get so I can use it if I need too?

  2. The best coverage of all mobile phones are the new Next G mobiles from Telstra. They cover nearly twice as much land mass as Optus. The population measures quoted of 98% and 96% are not relavant to your needs you need to look at land mass. Also the phone doubles as a pretty handy modem as well.

    You may pay more for Telstra but ya gets what ya payz for!
  3. CDMA never lived up to all the hipe in this part of the world, & it died a very quick death despite all the promises made.

    As for coverage god good luck on that.
    Optus is now better then Telstra here,
    When the kids use there vodafone sims, they have to stand out the front.

    Its really hard to say. What works here may not work where your going.
    Best bet is to ask the locals if possible.
  4. Virgin uses Optus
  5. Get hold of the mobile carriers' coverage maps and see how well they cover the areas you will be travelling in.
  6. Satelite phones are expensive but are supposed to work in all the far out areas...

    Saying that you could always take a roll of tin foil (same kind you use in the oven) and rig up a make-shift dish for your standard phone should you get into trouble :LOL:
  7. My next phone will be a NextG phone, the coverage is massive, nothing competes, hopefully there will be more handsets to choose from soon, no prepaid on NextG, but Caps are available.
  8. Same for Western Victoria. Telstra coverage is ridiculously poor, I've often found myself unable to get a signal even in a town or on a major highway yet people on Optus seem to never have a problem even in some really remote areas.

  9. Couldn't agree more.

    When I was doing a week holiday in northing Vic last year all I could see on my Vodafone was full strength signal but "emergency calls only"
    ie. there was another network providing good coverage but I wasn't allowed access.
    This was backed up by seeing all the new base stations that have been installed (by colleauges of mine) through the country side.

    Telstra deffinately have the best coverage and the NextG stuff is a bonus that you can choose not to use.

    TBH I think this is Telstra's way of delivering on their commitmant to provide "broadband to the bush". it's going to be costly to those farmers to download torrents and p0rn, but hey. what can ya do. :LOL:
  10. Still not as good as CDMA, though. I had a Nokia 2280 CDMA. When its battery started dying I had to decide; pay the dough for a new battery or swap over, for free to NextG.

    Anyway, after checking out the available phones and being largely attracted by their gadget value, I migrated to NextG and got a Samsung A501.

    In some areas, coverage seems to be as good. For example, up in the Snowies, about 30 kays from Tumut, in the middle of nowhere, we stopped for a break. A mate wanted to call home but there was no GSM coverage. However, NextG was available so he borrowed my phone.

    Back in Tintaldra, I could JUST get a signal with the old CDMA. Nothing at all with NextG.

    Where I live, coverage is good, but gets sparse as I head out of town towards Loy Yang power station. In the control room CDMA would work, but NextG is hit and miss. Further south, CDMA is still better than NextG, despite that area being on the coverage map. A fault report has been lodged. Telstra tells me that it will be doing a Bracksy [1].

    I'm heading up to Merimbula on Saturday with a few mates. So, I'll check the coverage along the way, see how it compares to CDMA.

    [1]. Looking into it.
  11. orange , or cdma telstra

  12. +1.

    In their wisdom, they decided to go from Telstra to Optus at work. We conduct drilling for bridge sites etc and are often out in the remote/rural areas. We found that we lost coverage in the areas where we had it before with Telstra. Thanks goes out to the accountants and who wanted to look good to their bosses for saving money. The fact that it made life more difficult for others who have to venture outside the CBD didn't matter because you can't put a $ value on that. We ended up getting a satellite phone - something we didn't need before.
  13. No matter what the carrier tells you, those maps arn't worth the paper there printed on. Dont waist your time.
  14. Orange!

    Telstra CDMA and Next G Network should be about equal, some phones with internal antennas have poor reception and all the new phones seem to have internal antennas :mad: .

    Just as a note Telstra has announced that they have succesfully trialled upping the base station coverage on Next G from 50kms to 200kms, this is fantastic and should be getting rolled out over the next 12 months or so. No one is going to come close to this coverage at all.

    Are there spots where Optus may get coverage and not Telstra? Yep but if you look at the overall Telstra kicks arse :grin:
  15. my family owns a small communications shop in rural vic, and this is what we're learning...

    until the CDMA gets turned off, theres going to be issues with signal interference between CDMA and NextG.. they both use the same frequencies, and they are mounted in the same towers, and so when telstra turned on the NextG boxes, the CDMA boxes crashed. then the NextG boxes crashed, etc etc...

    The NextG system will start being really good once telstra can get everyone off the CDMA system and turn it off.. the current issue for this part is that there aren't any really good handsets out yet... it will take until midyear for the good sets to get here.

    Satilite phones are great if you wanna live with extremely expensive call rates and large phones.. they will give you coverage every where in the country (and out to sea) as long as you can see the sky.. so if youre in a cave youre not going to be making calls.

    hope thats useful
  16. There are three providers of CDMA in Australia.

    - Orange (Hutchison) shut their network down last year and pushed everyone over to their metro based "3" 3G2100 network (uses Telstra GSM in the bush).

    - Optus, uses Telstra's CDMA network.

    - Telstra, shutting it's network down in January 2008.

    Once the CDMA network is shut down Telstra will be able to expand the number of "channels" available to increase the call handling capacity of the Next network.

    Radio signals are an interesting thing, how often driving in the bush have you had a Melbourne based FM radio station lose signal but if you hit the preset button for one of the other Melbourne stations that works fine. It's the same for mobile networks depending on where the towers are located and the antenna type, direction, power & topography (Hills getting in the way).

    It also depends on how good the antenna on your phone is, your average base station may be pumping out the equivelent of 20-40Watts but your little phone is only pumping out around 0.25Watts :shock: so you might have good signal at your end but the base station cant see you :roll: You might also be inside a car (metal box) or building which further affects a phones ability to send & receive signals.

    Standard 3G2100 (Hutch "3", Voda, Optus & Telstra 3G) don't work outside the main metro centres and switch to a GSM network in the country, Telstra's Next G (3G850) will give you wireless broadband "3G" functions anywhere the network works in Australia.

    So in summary if you're Melbourne based and don't leave the major highways get a phone from whoever gives you the best deal. If you get of the highways research the areas and decide on that info. If you have a CDMA phone at present you will have to upgrade to a new handset by January next year.
  17. i have next g and cdma with me at all times.

    i travel from wollongong-orbost out to albury, up to condoblin and pretty much everywhere in between.

    my experience is that NextG is better than cdma.

    there is nowhere that my 6255 has service where my A701 doesnt, however the ability to jump to the gsm "E" band when no NextG850 is available has made it better than cdma.