telstra reception booster

boobook

Well-Known Member
Background
I'm considering a Celfi Go for Telstra so I can get access for work on a couple of upcoming trips. I also have a Sat Phone, PLB HF etc, but this is to help with longer voice and Zoom type calls while I am away.

I understand it can connect to 3G, 4G and 4GX bands. I also understand it's not a panacea for connection. I only expect it to make comms more reliable when in fringe areas. So far so good.

The issue
Having said that. I have seen some sellers warning that I will need VoLTE on my phone ( which I have) and voice over 4G is only available in certain 4G areas. Some are not VoLTE enabled and will not allow phone calls on 4G. I know that VoLTe is required to make a voice call on 4G, otherwise the phone sends voice calls over 3G.

The Question
Has anyone actually experienced the situation where they have good 4G coverage on Telstra using the CelFi Go, but can't make or receive phone calls? According to a couple of resellers, that can happen in certain areas.
 

Inigo Montoya

New Member
I'm pretty sure that you can use voice over 4G anywhere you'd want to. They probably just don't have it enabled in the city where there are better alternatives.

The Cel-Fi units work well in the wide open flat terrain round here, they can't magically create a signal where there isn't one, but they can grab onto a weak distant one a lot better than your average phone can. They are most suitable for people that rely on their phone a lot, as others have said if it's just for emergency use maybe look into satellite instead.

There is another, cheaper way to achieve similar results to the Cel-Fi: get yourself a 4G wifi dongle/router/hotspot with an external antenna port, and a decent antenna. You'll need to get a SIM card for it (data-only is fine). Most modern smartphones will do voice over wifi (vowifi) when they are out of phone range, so your hotspot becomes a surrogate phone cell. At the end of the day it's the external antenna that's doing most of the heavy lifting with these solutions.
 

sharkcaver

Well-Known Member
There is another, cheaper way to achieve similar results to the Cel-Fi: get yourself a 4G wifi dongle/router/hotspot with an external antenna port, and a decent antenna. You'll need to get a SIM card for it (data-only is fine). Most modern smartphones will do voice over wifi (vowifi) when they are out of phone range, so your hotspot becomes a surrogate phone cell. At the end of the day it's the external antenna that's doing most of the heavy lifting with these solutions.
I have a (telstra 4gx) Huawei dongle on a Telstra plan and its great. Craps all over my phone for data coverage out in the sticks. I also have an antenna adaptor and external antenna for it. Personally, the amount of extra reception from the external antenna is negligible, but the dongle is the bomb......still not as good as my mates celfi go though.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
I have a (telstra 4gx) Huawei dongle on a Telstra plan and its great. Craps all over my phone for data coverage out in the sticks. I also have an antenna adaptor and external antenna for it. Personally, the amount of extra reception from the external antenna is negligible, but the dongle is the bomb......still not as good as my mates celfi go though.
Yes I have one of those. They do work pretty well. The only problem ( for me anyway) is that I have combined 150G on a family plan with my normal phones but I have to buy extra on a separate SIM every time I go away with the dongle.

It is a pretty good option though and you can mount it up high too to improve reception. I even went to one of those dogy looking webstes and unlocked it so it works on any carrier. Unbelievabley that worked. So I can get high data optus bases resellers if coverage isn't an issue ( some caravan parks, AirBnB etc)
 
Last edited:
Top