I moved to the Telstra mobile (cell) network (I live in Australia). I was however getting really bad mobile reception at home but managed to find a quick, simple and free fix and now have great reception at home. Before detailing the solution, here is a bit of history.
Vodafone to ALDImobile to Optus to Telstra
After the fiasco that was Vodafone I used ALDImobile for awhile. As ALDImobile use parts of the Telstra network their mobile reception is generally good. What isn’t good however is that they calculate data in 1MB increments. As phones and apps signal (using data) lots of times per day in small data chunks, typically several kilobytes (KB), the rounding up by ALDImobile means that your usable data allowance is in effect far less than the stated amount.
Data sessions are charged in 1 MB blocks. This means that each time you access the Internet, the minimum amount of data you will use is 1MB. ALDImobile
I then decided to give Optus (part of SingTel) a go but, alas, their reception at my house is terrible (I live in West Pymble, NSW which is part of greater Sydney so it’s not like I live in the outback). After alot of trying to find a solution to the Optus reception woes, Optus sent me, and connected me up to, the Optus 3G Home Zone. The Home Zone is great in theory as it routes calls through ADSL where mobile reception is bad. Unfortunately, I didn’t find Home Zone call quality suitable especially when streaming video on a home computer or using alot of bandwidth for other purposes (I’m a website developer so spend alot of time on the web).
Next stop; Telstra. So yesterday I signed up for a Telstra mobile phone plan. Once activated I noticed that the mobile reception wasn’t good at all when I was at home. I knew that Telstra has good reception in my area as ALDImobile reception is good at my house (as noted ALDImobile use part of the Telstra network) and my wifes work mobile reception is good on Telstra. Of course the reception problems could have been my phone (Nexus 5) but I performed various tests and the phone works well. I then recalled a similar issue I had when travelling in South Africa using the MTN network last year.
Simple trick to get great mobile reception
The problem I had when using the MTN network was that my Android phone was set to use 4G where possible. This meant that where 4G signal strength was poor and, say 3G signal quality was strong, 4G would be selected by the phone and call quality would suffer. I therefore decided to see if, by changing the network type to 3G (or 2G), the Telstra signal strength would be better. I’m pleased to say that, by setting my preference to use Telstra 3G in place of 4G, the signal strength at my house is excellent (as is call quality). I use quite alot of data via my phone for hotspot sharing but I find 3G data speeds more than adequate so I’m not concerned about degrading data transfer rates.
If you are having intermittent bad Telstra signal quality (or Optus, Vodafone, Verizon, T-Mobile or any other provider) then try changing your network type preference to see if this solution works for you too. Here are the instructions for Android 5 Lollipop.
- Go to Settings.
- Under Wireless and networks click More.
- Click Cellular networks.
- Click Preferred network type.
- Click 3G.
I don’t have an iPhone but I believe that the following will achieve a similar result (iOS 8 and newer).
- Go to settings.
- Click Voice & Data.
- Click 3G.
I hope this solution works for you too and please let others know if you find this useful 🙂