Telstra launches mobile network repeater

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The company behind Australia’s largest mobile network has launched its own signal repeater, and yes, it’s legal.

The Telstra ‘Go’ repeater boosts signal in areas that are not covered by the Telstra network, or in areas that have patchy signal. A by-product of this is also an improvement in voice quality and data speed.

Telstra has released two models – a stationary version for $648 for residential applications, and a mobile version for $720 that can be used in cars, boats and other vehicles. The stationary version may require additional installation from Telstra.

Third-party signal boosters like this are usually illegal, as they tap into existing network infrastructure and can ‘hog’ signal.

Telstra’s booster receives mobile signals through an external antenna, which then re-transmits the signal to an indoor or in-vehicle antenna.

“We know reliable coverage is at the heart of what customers want from Telstra. Over the previous three financial years alone, Telstra has invested $2.2 billion in its regional mobile network so more Australians can experience a connected world that supports their way of life,” said Richard Noonan, Telstra’s General Manager for Mobile Devices.

The Go repeaters are reportedly compatible with Telstra’s ‘Next G’ 4G network, operating on 3G 850MHz and 4G 700MHz/1800MHz bands.

Mr Noonan said: “In addition to upgrading our mobile network in hundreds of regional locations to 4GX, bringing mobile coverage to some of the most remote communities of Australia, we also continue to look for ways to help customers connect with a number of products available like the Telstra Go Repeater that have been developed with our regional customers in mind.”

The Go Repeater has been rolled out as part of Telstra’s program to improve regional coverage. This program incorporates cooperating in the Federal Government’s Black Spot Program, constructing more than 650 new mobile base stations. Telstra’s ‘Blue Tick’ program also tests and approves mobile phones suitable for regional use.

How good is Telstra signal?

Despite the other carriers – Optus and Vodafone – catching up in metropolitan areas, Telstra is still arguably the king when it comes to rural or regional reception.

Telstra boasts Australia’s largest network of mobile base stations and has made a concerted effort to improve its coverage further. Such efforts include the $220 million allocation to the federal Black Spot program, as well as its own Blue Tick program, which regularly tests smartphones for rural compatibility.

The only other Telstra network mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to use the full Telstra network is Boost Mobile, while others only use parts of it.

In Canstar Blue’s latest mobile phone provider ratings, Telstra was the only brand to receive five stars for network coverage satisfaction. Optus and Vodafone both received three stars each.

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