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Going away for the school holidays? Remember to check mobile coverage!

With school holidays, many families will be getting away for a week or two.

Although some of us may want to “unplug”, 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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AMTA welcomes deployment regulation amendments

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the announcement today from the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, regarding the progression of 10 reforms to the regulations governing the deployment of wireless and mobile networks in Australia; as well as further consultation on 11 other proposed reforms. In welcoming the announcement, AMTA Chief Executive, Chris Althaus noted the Government’s reform package will go some way towards enabling the deployment of the next generation 5G mobile networks which are expected to bring significant improvements in speed, quality and capacity for Australia’s data hungry consumers.  But he also noted there was still more to do. “This is a welcome and very important first step - in what we hope will be an ongoing engagement with government and stakeholders to develop a dynamic regulatory framework to meet the deployment challenges of next generation networks.

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5G gains momentum in 2018

AMTA is confident that the Government's 5G priorities will add momentum to our ongoing efforts to engage with industry verticals and the respective government departments outside of the communications portfolio with regard to the broader economic and social benefits of 5G.

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AMTA Annual Report 2017

In 2017, the strong demand for mobile services continues to have an impact on our economy and society as the industry shifts its focus in preparation for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. AMTA’s latest Annual Report includes the following highlights: As industry prepares for 5G the need for regulatory reform in spectrum management and network infrastructure deployment is increasingly urgent. 5G Mobile – Enabling Businesses and Economic Growth Report by Deloitte Access Economics found that 5G is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy. It will add to the already significant (and growing) $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile; and annual network spend from mobile providers is expected to reach $5.7 billion in FY2017-18. The MCF has focused on an agenda of legislative reform to support the efficient and flexible deployment of network infrastructure.