Mobile provider Telstra has recently been working on improving their network coverage throughout the country of Australia, and part of that involves investigating issues with poor connectivity throughout the country. One such instance, located in Port Lincoln, South Australia, was believed to have been caused by an illegal Mobile Repeater located in the city marina.
Mobile repeaters, like the Mobile Repeater Nikrans MA400D, are devices that improve coverage in a poor signal level area by simply taking any signal it receives and repeating it in the immediate vicinity, covering any blind spots missed by the initial signal. Telstra regularly uses them to improve the coverage of their mobile network.
As part of their attempts to improve their network, the company has been investigating interference issues, and has come to the conclusion that a good deal of the interference problems in the country stems from people using illegal repeaters in order to try and strengthen their coverage.
Telstra’s South Australia Area General Manager, Mark Bolton said in a statement that Telstra has five mobile base stations servicing the Port Lincoln township, but, despite that, the company had been receiving customer complaints about poor service on their 3G mobile network, particularly near the marina, the golf course, and Dublin Street.
An illegal repeater was found within one of the boats in the marina, and, after completing technical investigations, Telstra concluded that the most likely cause of the turbulent coverage in the township was cheap, substandard mobile phone repeaters acquired overseas.
Mr. Bolton says that cheap, substandard repeaters, unlike the Mobile Repeater Nikrans MA400D or the ones Telstra uses, were likely to lead to interference for the wider community in the vicinity of the repeaters. He states that cheap repeaters were not tested, and, as such, did not comply with Australia’s mobile network requirements, which meant that use usually lead to data loss in the area.
He says that Telstra has sophisticated monitoring systems designed to identify the location of these devices, in spite of the usual difficulty of finding them due to fluctuating operation periods and mobile locations. It was through these that Telstra located the illegal repeater located in one of the boats in the Dublin Street Marina.