Improve reception

Do you have mobile phone reception only if you walk to the front gate of your 1km driveway? Or stand on top of the hill behind the water tanks? Maybe you can get just one bar at midnight on a clear summer’s evening?

There are ways of taking that barely-there reception and turning it into a full “five bars” of access, giving you both mobile phone and internet access.

This page provides an overview of these ways, and links to the detailed web pages you need for more information.

There are a number of telco’s that provide mobile phone coverage across Australia. Some providers have stronger coverage in regional, rural and remote Australian than others.

Before signing up to a mobile provider, visit the telco’s website to view their coverage maps to make sure that your smartphone, tablet or other mobile device will work where you want to use it – at home, at work, and on the go. You can also ask for this information over the phone or in-store.

Check coverage here:

  • Telstra. Has the widest coverage across rural, regional and remote areas.
  • Optus. Has broad coverage along major highways across Australia, but reception may be limited away from those areas.
  • Vodafone. Has very limited coverage outside of major metropolitan areas.

If you can get some mobile coverage at your location, then using a mix of passive and/or active antennas may give you full coverage.

A very common setup is to have a passive antenna (such as a “Yagi” or “MIMO” antenna) mounted on top of a tall pole on a suitable roof, with cables running down into the house. This can turn no reception into 1-2 bars – enough for mobile phone and internet access.

The cables are then attached to an active antenna, such as a Cel-fi or smart antenna licensed to a particular network, which broadcasts the enhanced signal through your property.

An image of a MIMO antenna on a roof

A picture of a MIMO antenna mounted on a 3 metre pole on a roof. This is braced with two struts against high winds in the region.

All mobile devices on the network that’s being broadcast will then register as having full reception, and be able to make and receive phone calls, send messages, and use internet services as usual.

  • Passive antennas are usually mounted on the roof (e.g. Yagi antennas), often on top of a tall pole. They  do not require licensing. We cover their use in Aerials and Antennas.
  • Active antennas such as the Cel-Fis and Smart Antennas (needing power) must be licensed to the specific telco whose signal they’re boosting. If they are not licensed, they are ILLEGAL boosters. We cover their use in Mobile repeaters.

Illegal boosters carry a large fine as they can interfere with the mobile network.

Need more information?

Contact our Helpdesk directly.