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5 Tips to Help You Improve Your Mobile Phone Reception

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We all love our smartphonesthey bring untold convenience to our daily lives.

But isn’t it frustrating when your mobile phone suddenly stops working due to low mobile reception?

One minute you’re in the middle of a conversation, and abruptly, it’s cut off because your mobile phone signal drops. Or you’re scrolling through social media when suddenly everything screeches to a halt. Dealing with a weak mobile phone reception can be extremely frustrating.

Aussies are huge smartphone users. In fact, more than 9 out of 10 Australians use mobile phones. The surge in smartphone usage has also coincided with the commencement of Australia’s 5G rollout. That’s why mobile networks are continually enhancing their infrastructure to not only improve reliability on the cellular network but also to enhance mobile signal strength.

Despite these advances, you’ll still find yourself with a weak signal from time to time; it’s inevitable. Before you go through the hassle of shopping for different mobile providers and checking internal and external antennas, make sure you’re doing everything you can to boost your phone signal by following these tips.

How to boost phone reception

1. Get to higher ground to increase mobile signal strength

One easy way to improve reception is by gaining elevation. Mobile data networks operate using high frequencies of radio waves. And just like with FM radio, those waves can be disrupted by physical objects and barriers between your device and cell towers. Obstructions like hills, buildings, or structures can affect your reception and result in a very poor signal. To enhance your cell phone signal strength, try moving up higher. Climbing a hill, going upstairs, or sometimes simply standing up can strengthen your smartphone’s connection to the nearest cell tower. 

Bonus tip: Given that the earth effectively blocks radio waves, your cell signal is naturally compromised when underground—in basements or car parks, for example.

2. Move towards a window when making phone calls

The principle of radio waves applies indoors, too. If you’re struggling with mobile phone reception inside the building, try moving towards a window. Certain building materials block mobile phone signals more effectively than others. For example, glass allows more mobile signals to pass through than concrete, so finding a window can be helpful in boosting your phone signal.

3. Don’t trust Wi-Fi too much

Wi-Fi, while often a solution, can also cause connectivity issues. If your phone suddenly becomes internet unresponsive—apps freezing, web pages failing to load—check if your device is on Wi-Fi rather than using your mobile data. If so, try toggling Wi-Fi off from your phone settings and see if it works better via a mobile phone data connection. This can happen because Wi-Fi networks, including portable ones, sometimes encounter disruptions, misleadingly indicating connectivity without actual internet access.

4. Get to know your phone’s settings

Ensuring your device doesn’t have a configuration problem and knowing the difference between 4G and 3G is crucial. If you’re paying for high-speed 4G coverage but you only see “3G” on your phone, that means you’re not getting the speeds you’re paying for. If you’re in an area that has weaker reception, your phone might default to the more reliable but slower 3G network. But if you’re constantly seeing 3G, it’s time to check your phone’s settings and get in touch with your mobile network carrier.

5. Enhance your signal with an authorised signal booster

When boosting mobile phone signal is the only option left, consider legal signal enhancement solutions. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) approves the use of mobile phone repeaters and femtocell technology for residential use and high-gain antennas for vehicles, as ways to boost your signal effectively. These can significantly improve mobile reception. However, it’s important to heed ACMA’s advice that unauthorised cell phone signal boosters and repeaters not authorised by your provider are illegal in Australia due to potential interference with cellular network operations.

Follow these tips the next time you face frustrating mobile coverage gaps to improve your reception and reconnect.

Stay connected with MATE’s 4G and 5G mobile plans

We understand the importance of good mobile phone reception. Explore our range of 4G and 5G mobile plans and find the perfect match to keep you connected and in control of your digital life.

With MATE, your mobile plan comes with generous data allowances–up to a staggering 1000GB, alongside unlimited calls and texts. Plus, when you bundle your mobile plan with a MATE home internet plan, you can save up to $10 per month. 

MATE 4G Mobile Plans

  • Good Mates (12GB data): Ideal for those who stick to the basics like social media browsing and checking emails, or those who usually connect via Wi-Fi.
  • Better Mates (25GB data): Tailored for users who mostly use their phone for video calls as well as video and music streaming.

MATE 5G Mobile Plans

  • Great Mates (32GB data): A plan designed for the entertainment enthusiast. Whether it’s gaming, movie streaming, or jamming to your favourite tracks, this plan has you covered.
  • Best Mates (50GB data): Perfect for those who love binge-watching on the go. It’s also a top pick for remote workers who need a reliable tethering option without always depending on Wi-Fi.
  • Brilliant Mates (65GB data): A powerhouse plan for the heavy user. Stream, download, upload, and rope with ease, thanks to ample data and speeds capped at 100mbps.
  • Soul Mates (150GB data): Our premium 5G plan for the ultimate digital nomad. Experience speeds of up to 250mbps and a massive data allowance to keep you connected wherever you are.


How to boost mobile phone reception?

Boosting mobile phone reception can often be achieved through simple methods. Consider the following:

  • Get to Higher Ground: Elevate yourself to reduce obstructions between your phone and the cell towers.
  • Move Towards a Window: This can help, especially indoors, where building materials may block signals.
  • Check Your Wi-Fi Settings: Sometimes switching off Wi-Fi can improve mobile data reception.
  • Know Your Phone’s Settings: Understand the difference between 4G and 3G and choose settings that optimise reception.

Use a Signal Booster: Authorised boosters can significantly improve reception in areas with consistently weak signals.

Which mobile phone has the best reception in Australia?

The latest models from major phone brands like Samsung and iPhone generally offer superior reception capabilities, thanks to their advanced technology. Ensuring these devices are connected to a reliable mobile phone network, like MATE, which offers great network services and an extensive coverage area, can further enhance your signal quality.

Why is my mobile phone reception so bad?

Several factors could be causing poor mobile phone reception, including physical barriers between your phone and the nearest cell tower, being indoors or underground, long distance from cell towers, network congestion, or being on a network with limited coverage. Opting for a network like MATE, which offers extensive coverage, might mitigate these issues.

How to improve mobile phone reception indoors?

To improve reception indoors, try moving closer to windows to reduce the interference of building materials with your signal, turning off Wi-Fi to force your phone to connect to the mobile network, or using Wi-Fi Calling if available.


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