Are you in a mobile reception blackspot?

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So, you’ve looked at your telco’s coverage map and seen that 4G data coverage blankets your entire town or city. That’s great, but why can’t you get signal, let alone 4G data? Blackspots may dot around pockets of major urban areas even if maps suggest otherwise. Read on for a list of mobile blackspots to see if you could be affected. Note that blackspots don’t apply to underground carparks or similar where a loss in signal is to be expected.

Mobile Blackspots in Australia

The Federal Government has committed $220m to a blackspot program aimed at building infrastructure in areas with traditionally poor, or no, mobile reception. Areas mainly include major regional transport routes and in smaller areas along these corridors. The three networks in Australia – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – are all on-board, rolling out a series of infrastructure projects due to be completed in 2019.

The following list will primarily comprise of the most populated areas, but many regional areas are also affected. You can view each telco’s blackspot list – and even find blackspots – using these links to the telco’s respective websites:

Capital cities are well covered in regards to blackspots, but others in the regions aren’t so lucky. Most areas are luckily due to be completed sometime in 2018 so you shouldn’t have to suffer much longer.

Mobile Blackspots in Australia

Many of these blackspots are out in the far reaches of the states, while most of the coastal fringe and most populated areas are well-accounted for. Luckily across all three carriers, blackspot infrastructure is being rolled out and is due to be completed 2019. The sites vary for each telco and while you can find more detailed information of these sites on the telcos’ websites, below is a snapshot of some sites expected to be completed 2019.

Queensland Blackspots

Optus

  • Alva Beach
  • Boreen Point
  • Cootharaba Road
  • Donnybrook
  • Pawngilly

Most of these locations are due to be on-air by mid 2019.

Telstra

Telstra has a fair few blackspots identified in the south east corridor. Telstra has mainly planned to build a base station in these areas, but ‘small cells’ are still built in a select few locations. Identified blackspots include:

  • Cedar Creek
  • Kholo
  • Karana Downs
  • Highvale
  • Mount Glorious
  • Burbank

As with Optus, Telstra plans on getting these sites live in 2019. Visit the Telstra site for more detailed information.

Vodafone

  • Lake Corella
  • Yelvertoft

Just two destinations are identified as blackspots by Vodafone scheduled to be completed in 2019. Most well-populated regions are covered but several areas along the Barkly Highway have been identified, including Lake Corella near Cloncurry.

NSW Blackspots

Optus

  • Brierfield
  • Firefly
  • South Cadia
  • The Homestead
  • Waldaira

Most of these areas are due to be completed in 2019.

Telstra

  • Anglers Reach
  • Bombala
  • Copeton Dam
  • Kanimbla
  • Megalong Valley
  • North Dorrigo
  • Wendoree Park

These sites are spread across NSW and while some are set for completion in 2019, others are due in 2020.

Vodafone

  • Doughboy Mountain
  • Mount Hourigan
  • Sandy Hills
  • Ungarie

These sites are scheduled to be completed in 2019.

Victoria Blackspots

Optus

  • Baranduda Range
  • Gembrook North
  • Lexton
  • Mt Dom Dom
  • Waubra

Most of Victoria is pretty well covered, with the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne featuring no blackspots. Still, some do exist and Optus has these and other sites planned for completion in 2019.

Telstra

  • Cape Conran
  • Charleroi
  • Freeburgh/Smoko
  • Lima South
  • Manorina
  • Sandhill Lake
  • Wilkur

Telstra covers Melbourne very well, but several clusters of blackspots do exist outside of the state’s capital. Many of these sites are eexpected to be completed in 2019 and 2020.

Vodafone

  • Glen Valley
  • Kalorama

Vodafone has identified two areas in Victoria as a blackspot and is expected to complete these sites in 2019.

Tasmania Blackspots

Optus

  • Buckland North
  • Lachlan
  • Murdunna
  • Wilmot

Optus has a few sites around Tasmania, including the above, which are set for completion in 2019.

Telstra

  • Blackstone Heights
  • Devonport
  • Musselroe Bay

Telstra has has already rolled out a lot of sites across Tasmania but still have some due for completion in 2019.

Vodafone

  • Apslawn
  • Brandum
  • Goshen
  • Miena
  • Wayatinah

Vodafone has a handful of Tasmanian sites listed due for completion in 2019.

South Australia Blackspots

Optus

  • Mindarie
  • Winninowie

Optus currently only has the above two sites listed for completion in 2019.

Telstra

  • Buckelboo
  • Cadney Park
  • Little Para Pass
  • Murtho
  • Wunkar

South Australia is pretty well covered, but Telstra does have several sites around the state due for completion in 2019 and 2020.

Vodafone

Vodafone currently has no SA sites listed in its rollout.

Northern Territory Blackspots

Optus

  • Bark Hut Inn
  • Florence Falls
  • Lingara
  • Wangi Falls

Most of Optus’ targeted blackspots centre on tourism locations, with Litchfield National Park featuring prominently. Darwin is well covered, with sites expected to be completed in 2019.

Telstra

  • Finke
  • Imanpa

Telstra has rolled out many sites in the NT and has a couple set for completion in 2020.

Vodafone

Vodafone currently has no blackspots listed in the Northern Territory.

Western Australia Blackspots

Optus

  • Alexander Bay
  • Kennedy Ranges National Park
  • Mt Barnett Roadhouse
  • Parnngurr

Optus has rolled out most of its WA sites with only a few set for completion in 2019.

Telstra

  • Arrowsmith East
  • Buntine
  • Goongarrie
  • Milo, Midland Roads

Telstra covers WA pretty well and has new base stations and small cells planned for roll out in 2019 and into 2020.

Vodafone

Vodafone currently has no new sites planned.

Phone plans from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone

If you’re in an area with new network connection, or you’ve seen your area listed above or on the telco’s website as a yet-to-be-completed blackspot site, it might be time to look into a new phone plan if you haven’t already. While there are many mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) out there that operate on one of the three networks (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone), your starting point might be to look into phone plans from the big three.

When you’ve found a plan and telco you like the look of, it’s worth checking the coverage maps on the telco’s website to ensure that your area is meant to have coverage on that network.

So, if you’re looking for a SIM-only postpaid phone plan from Telstra, Vodafone and Optus, the table below shows a selection of comparable postpaid plans from our database, which show a minimum of 10GB data, listed in order of advertised cost, lowest cost first, then by data allowance. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.

What do I do if I’m not covered?

Don’t see your town or suburb in the above lists? Don’t panic – full lists are available on the carriers’ websites. Additionally, if you live in a capital city or major metropolitan hub, you likely needn’t worry. Still, if you live outside of these areas and you’re not slated to get your blackspot fix, the telcos are continually rolling out and planning new stations in 2019 and even into 2020.

If in doubt, talking to your telco can be enough to ignite change. The federal government and the telcos are spending nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on improving mobile network coverage, so it’s definitely worth reaching out to see if you can receive coverage in your area.

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