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Going away for Easter? Remember to check mobile coverage!

With the Easter break and school holidays here, many of us will be heading off to holiday destinations.

Although some of us may want to “unplug” for a week, others may need to stay in touch with work or family while away so checking mobile coverage before you book or head off on holidays is always a good idea.

You can check the mobile coverage for your holiday destination with your service provider before you leave by visiting your service provider’s website or calling them to see what kind of coverage you can expect at your holiday destination.

Safe and legal ways to enhance mobile coverage and reception

Mobile coverage and good reception are very important to mobile device users whether on holidays, at home or at work. Before you sign up to a new plan or buy a new device, it’s important to check the coverage in the places you will use your phone the most.

And while there are some things you can do to boost mobile coverage, however, there are strict rules around the use of mobile repeater devices.

There are ways you can safely and legally enhance your mobile coverage.

Buyer beware – of claims about mobile boosters and repeaters

Mobile phone boosters are banned under the Radiocommunications Act (1992) by the ACMA because they can cause significant interference to mobile networks and mobile repeaters which are also regulated by the ACMA may only be used if the specific model has been authorised for your use by your mobile carrier. 

So it pays to be careful about devices you purchase and use in Australia to boost mobile coverage.

There are websites that advertise devices which promise to help boost mobile coverage – but these devices are often illegal.

These devices are prohibited because they often cause significant interference with mobile networks and prevent other mobile users from accessing the networks, which can have serious consequences if somebody is unable to make an emergency call.

Mobile Repeaters

A mobile repeater is a fixed radio-communications device that can be used to “repeat” a wireless signal from a base station and so provide mobile coverage to areas where the base-station signal may be weaker.

Licensed mobile carriers use mobile repeaters as part of their overall network management and deployment program.

Anyone who is not a licensed mobile carrier may only use a mobile repeater with the permission of a licensed mobile carrier. This is because mobile repeaters often cause significant interference and disruption to mobile networks. Unauthorised use of mobile repeaters can result in fines of up to $255,000 or two years imprisonment. 

You can read more about the rules for mobile phone repeaters on the ACMA website and you can find out how to report the use of an unauthorised device here

Mobile phone boosters

Mobile phone boosters are devices that can be attached via a cable to a mobile device to boost the signal strength. 

Mobile phone boosters are prohibited by the ACMA because they can cause significant interference with mobile networks and prevent access to mobile services by other users. This can have very serious consequences for anyone nearby trying to make a call, particularly in an emergency. You can read more about why mobile phone boosters are prohibited on the ACMA website.

If you need help with coverage

Talk to your mobile service provider as they will be able to tell you about safe and legal ways to improve your coverage.

 

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Interference to mobile networks - Buyer Beware!

Interference to the mobile network can cause calls to drop out, data speeds to drop and impact on network performance. In the worst case, it can prevent someone else from making a call to Triple Zero in an emergency. The ACMA has now made available a consumer factsheet on interference that explains some of the common causes of interference and what you should do if you are contacted by a mobile network operator about interference to their network.

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Flexibility in Network Deployment Regulations

The Department of Communications and the Arts has just completed its public consultation on a suite of amendments to the regulatory framework governing carriers’ deployment of mobile network infrastructure. AMTA joined Communications Alliance in welcoming the opportunity to provide comment on the DoCA consultation paper.

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In-depth Analysis of the Mobile Industry

Mobile World Live has published its first annual report, offering an in-depth analysis of the true state of the mobile industry. Split into five chapters – a full market overview, 5G, Security, IoT and Telecoms IT – the report highlights a number of key findings.

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Local Councils Lift Recycling Game

MobileMuster, the mobile phone industry’s product stewardship program, recognised the efforts of local councils who have dramatically increased their collections and helped make recycling more accessible to the community.

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Connected Cars: from Here to Autonomy

GSMA's global survey, conducted in November and December 2016 with nearly 1,000 respondents, uncovered significant understanding of the issues facing the wider deployment and monetisation of connected cars, along with significant enthusiasm for connected car technologies and services in general and autonomous driving.

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Australia Leads on Speed and Connectivity

The inaugural GSMA Mobile Connectivity Index shows that Australia performs exceptionally well and consistently as the top ranked nation in the 2016 GSMA Index. The Index measures the performance of 134 countries, accounting for more than 95% of the world’s population, against the key enablers of mobile internet connectivity. Importantly, it tells us how specific countries and clusters of countries are performing. In short, Australia is regarded as a leader and our scores reflect a high degree of industry commitment, technical innovation and investment. What are the enablers and how are they measured? The  enablers  of  mobile  internet  connectivity  that  inform  the  indicators  selected  for  the Index are: Infrastructure  –  the  availability  of  high-performance  mobile  internet  network coverage (Australia’s score: 73.