Telstra is Upgrading to 5G in Walgett

Published on 13 March 2024


Telstra will be upgrading its mobile base station in Walgett by adding additional infrastructure to bring a better 4G user experience and preparation for 5G to the community, however the works will require a series of temporary outages or reduction in mobile coverage.

The works required are extensive and will temporarily impact Telstra mobile coverage at various times from Wednesday, 13 March, until Sunday, 24 March 2024.

The first phase of disruptions will occur between 7am until 5pm on Thursday 14 March and Friday 15 March, with network coverage being restored each day.

There will then be a full site outage between 7am on Saturday 16 March until 5pm Wednesday 20 March 2024. There will be no mobile network coverage during this period. This will be followed by smaller temporary disruptions for call testing until Sunday 24 March.

If all goes to plan and weather permitting, residents should notice improvements in Telstra mobile services from Sunday, 24 March.

Telstra mobile customers will receive text messages advising of the upcoming work.

Landline services, NBN internet services and mobile coverage from any other providers in the area will not be impacted.

Telstra Regional General Manager, Michael Marom, said while our crews need to work during daylight for safety, we'll only be switching off the site when we need to and will have it back on as quickly as possible.

"Where possible we will just be switching off the parts of the tower we are working on, leaving the rest operational. While coverage and capacity will decline during this time, we want to keep the amount of time the site is off air to an absolute minimum," Mr Marom said.

"There's never a good time to undertake this sort of work but once it is completed, it will mean better mobile services for local residents.

"As a company, we heavily invest in improving regional connectivity and this site is another example of our commitment. Over the past seven years to the end of FY23, Telstra invested $11 billion in our mobile network nationally, with $4 billion of this invested in our regional mobile network."

Tips for improving connectivity while works are underway

For mobile coverage in the interim, if residents have access to a Wi-Fi signal at home or at work, Telstra encourages residents to activate Wi-Fi calling. This is a free setting on most popular mobile phones and allows your mobile to use a Wi-Fi network to make and receive mobile calls. To find out more google Telstra Wi-Fi calling or search in the settings icon on a phone.

We know many businesses use the Telstra network for their EFTPOS terminals. However, Telstra does not operate the EFTPOS network; it is operated by financial institutions. Many EFTPOS terminals can also be connected using fixed line or Wi-Fi/NBN internet connections. Retailers should contact their bank for more information and details on how to switch between these methods to ensure continuous service.

Long term benefits of the site upgrade

The roll out of 5G connectivity for the first time in the area means customers with Telstra 5G mobile devices will be able to enjoy a better mobile experience. The upgrade also brings added benefits for customers on the Telstra 4G network with more capacity, providing better network connectivity and less congestion when it's busier.

"We're continuing to expand our 5G network across location and nationally we're adding new sites to the network every week. Upgrades such as these continue to demonstrate Telstra's ongoing commitment to regional Australia," Mr Marom said.

Once completed, Walgett will join more than 4,900 Telstra 5G sites on-air within selected areas of more than four hundred cities and towns across Australia. Around 85 per cent of all Australians now have the ability to access to the Telstra 5G network where they live.

For customers wishing to access 5G on the Telstra network, they will need a 5G capable device so for some people, that may mean upgrading their current device.



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