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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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  #1  
Old 17 Sep 2011
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Lightbulb Mobile Phones: Maximise Coverage in Rural Areas

Ever thought which mobile/cell phone to buy based on how well they can pick up a signal in a remote area?

Different makes and models of mobile phones have varying performance when trying to connect to the mobile network when the signal is weak. Some are far better than others and can make/receive calls and send/receive text messages/data at much greater distance to a mobile base station than other phones.

I have experienced this in Australia, where distances between towns are great and much of the country has no coverage. On recent 4wd trips my girlfriends phone would usually pick up a signal 20-50km further out than mine.

That's 'no coverage' on my UK roaming phone that can use any Aus network for great swathes of the country where my girlfriend's phone, limited to the Telstra network only, was reliably making calls with good signal strength.

Now I'm back in the UK and looking for a new phone to take on a RTW bike trip. It seems virtually impossible to find information on mobile phone performance. It's not surprising in the UK as we have very high network coverage. I know plenty of countries on my route have limited/flaky mobile coverage.

Of course, for visits to multiple countries, a bit of research needs to be done on mobile network frequency bands too, and a quad (or greater) band phone is likely to improve the number of countries it works in.

Having found nothing on UK/US searches I had a search on Google Australia (google.com.au)...... I finally found the search term "blue tick" in Australian forums discussing 4wd/rural mobile phone usage. This is the Telstra term that they give to phones that have been tested to work well in rural areas, and my girlfriend's phone is on their list.

Of course I'm not suggesting you have to buy from Telstra, but their online shop lists "blue tick" phone models that are also available elsewhere around the world. Why not look it up on Telstra, buy locally & reap the benefits?

Maximise your Next G Mobile Coverage - Telstra

Ian
@IncyWincyRider
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Old 18 Sep 2011
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Smile

Mr B
Have a look at Samsung's Galaxy S or S2
even works upside down (good 4 Ozzies!!)
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Old 18 Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Mr B
Have a look at Samsung's Galaxy S or S2
even works upside down (good 4 Ozzies!!)
Current Samsung phones supplied by Telstra, including the S2, are unsuitable for use in rural areas (no blue tick).

Blackberry, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson each have at least one current model supplied by Telstra that are suitable. There are of course other phones, generally discontinued models, that are no longer sold by Telstra that have been awarded a blue tick, e.g. Palm Treo. These can be found in various aussie forums.
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Old 18 Sep 2011
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mmm 'provided by Telstra' therein might be where the problem lies.
What about the Nokia E61? I got a spare one of those if it is any good to you
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Old 18 Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
mmm 'provided by Telstra' therein might be where the problem lies.
What about the Nokia E61? I got a spare one of those if it is any good to you
Telstra, rather than being the problem, are doing us a favour by testing the phones they sell (and others they don't sell, with their testing being a factor) and letting us know which ones work best out in the sticks.

Blue Tick testing - how Telstra tests smartphones - YouTube

I'd rather pick a phone with good sensitivity before my next trip & know I can make calls in more remote places. Starting with the Telstra blue tick list of phone models is the only solution I have found. If anyone has found another source of current mobile phone comparative reception performance, I would be glad to hear it.

Listing random phones on this thread with at best unknown, at worst, piss poor reception performance, such as the Galaxy S2 and Nokia E61 probably does not help anyone.


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Old 18 Sep 2011
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Offer of an unlocked free Nokia E61 withdrawn-
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Old 19 Sep 2011
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My old battered Nokia gets a way better signal than my all singing, all dancing HTC Orgasm.

It also fits in my pocket and the battery lasts for ever.

Oh well, "advances in technology" and all that.
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Old 5 Jan 2012
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use an external aerial, bit hard in a bike but if you in a 4wd moutn one on bullbar, common in australia.
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