Troubleshoot voice connection
This page is to help identify where an issue with your voice service might be occurring. It provides some basic tips to try and fix your issue, before contacting your voice provider.
You can check for network outages on our Check network outages page.
If your internet service is still working, you may be able to use internet voice services such as Skype to make voice calls. Our page on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) may be helpful to you.
If you have a mobile phone with Telstra or Optus, you may also be able to use Wifi Calling, or SMS over Wifi, service, to make a phone call. Our page on Wifi Calling may be able to help you.
Troubleshooting tips for your voice service
- Try plugging in an unpowered handset – an old-style push button Telstra phone – and checking for a dial tone.
- Check cords and cables for any damage. Do not use damaged cords, as they can give you a shock.
- If your phone works via a modem, do a power cycle of the modem. Re-starting your equipment in the correct order can fix quite a few issues, particularly if you’ve just come back on after a power blackout or brownout.
- Try a new phone cord from the modem to the phone.
- If your voice services are supplied via the internet (for example, VoIP, or Wi-Fi calling), visit “troubleshoot internet connection” for information on resetting your internet connection.
- If your phone is a mobile connection and dependant on a powered repeater such as a smart antenna or Cel-Fi, do a power cycle of the boosting equipment and the mobile handset.
- Check for Network Outages with your service provider.
Where is the issue occurring?
Connection issues can occur in a range of places.
- In a specific service – for example, 1800, 1300, premium numbers, or SMS.
- In the phone handset itself.
- In the connection between the handset and the phone base station (whether wireless or cabled).
- In the base station itself (maybe something rattled after the last time it fell off the table?).
- In the connection between the base station and the service provision (for example, in the phone network itself, or the satellite of a satphone provider, and so on).
“Turn it off and on again”.
It’s the most clichéd of sayings, but it really can work.
We recommend – where feasible – turning things off entirely, unplugging all relevant cables, waiting a few minutes, and then restarting and reconnecting them in order.
Re-starting your systems in the correct order can fix quite a few issues, particularly if you’ve just come back on after a power blackout or brownout (if you need power for your voice services). It can also identify loose, damaged, or problematic cables or power sockets.
If you find a damaged power cable, remove and replace it immediately. Never use damaged power cables – they can give you an electric shock.
Turn it off, in order
If your voice services are supplied via the internet (for example VoIP or Wi-Fi calling), see “Troubleshoot internet connection” for information on resetting your internet connection.
- Turn off mobile handsets.
- Turn off and unplug any repeater or router services (for example, a Cel-Fi).
- Turn off and unplug landline phone handsets or base stations.
- Check and unplug wires and cables running from handsets/base stations
- If it is safe and possible, check external aerials and equipment attached to them.
Try and wait for a minute or two, if you can. This allows time for wireless services to “forget” the settings that may be faulty, and be ready to accept new settings when re-connected again.
Turn it on, in order
- Re-attach handsets/base stations, and turn back on.
- Re-attach repeater or router services, and turn back on.
- Turn mobile handsets back on.
Try to make a call again.
Multiple phone connections
If you have more than one phone connection – for example, a Telstra landline connection and an Optus mobile connection – we do suggesting checking all their cables, and turning them all off and on again where practical.
If all of them are having issues, then the problem may lie inside your own setup, rather than with the phone service itself, but it does depend on the supplier/s of your multiple connections.
Still not working?
Contact your voice supplier.
If your service is provided by Telstra, we recommend using the Telstra 24/7 app on your phone or iPad/tablet to lodge a fault. Telstra’s wait times on their phone service can often be very long.
If your main landline is not working, but you still have Internet access and a mobile phone, you may be able to use Wifi Calling to place a call.