Telstra Blue Tick 4G Antenna Array
Network | Regional |

Telstra Blue Tick: how we test for regional Australia

By Harry Tucker June 23, 2022

Over the last couple of decades, connectivity has become more crucial than ever – and in remote areas it can be the difference between isolation and community. Which is why for the last 15 years we’ve been putting phones to the test to see if they deserve a Blue Tick.

The Telstra Blue Tick is the mark we give phones that our technicians and engineers have thoroughly tested to ensure they deliver superior voice coverage in rural and regional areas.

We test every phone that we sell on our network, but only the best get a Blue Tick.

900+

devices tested

4,000

updates tested

80,000

testing hours

1

hand model

How we test for Blue Tick

@maxhawker

If you’re struggling to get mobile coverage in regional areas, don’t yeet your phone away. Watch this video! #bluetick #telstra #partner

♬ original sound – Max Hawker

When Blue Tick first started, a crack team of Telstra technicians and engineers went bush with a range of devices to test exactly how they performed. While they were out there, they pioneered a testing regimen that is still used today.

Originally testing was only performed with our 3G network, but in recent years, testing voice calls across our 4G VoLTE network has become part of the process, with Samsung’s Galaxy S8 the first 4G phone to receive the Blue Tick in 2017.

These days we don’t need to head out to the bush for each test, but can do most of our testing in purpose built device testing facilities. Here, we’re able to simulate exactly how a new phone would perform as if it were being held in your hand on the very edge of a coverage area.

We seal the handsets in our specialised echo-free chamber to ensure that tests are accurate and only the best-performing devices are awarded the prestige of carrying the Blue Tick. And to make extra sure the handset performs well, we then take it out into rural areas to replicate these test results for double-confirmation of its performance.

We have tech genius Max Hawker here to show you how it works.

More than a coverage map

Telstra Blue Tick device testing

When you rely on knowing where you can find coverage in remote areas, being able to trust in the Blue Tick across different devices is a point of pride for us. There are many factors that can impact the signal strength, but with Blue Tick testing, one of the most important we test for is how our bodies impact signal.

When you hold your phone, your hand and all the lovely stuff in your body – which is mostly made up of water – work to essentially absorb and almost block parts of the signal. Engineers call it a “detuning” effect and it can have a real impact on your overall coverage.

In fact, your hand position and size is so important that to ensure consistency we’ve used the same bloke and his same hand for over a decade to hold the devices in testing.

A phone’s antenna strength can also make a big difference in terms of connectivity, which is something we test across all our connected devices. Even a small amount of extra signal strength (measured in dBM) can result in kilometres of extra coverage when you’re on the borderline of connectivity.

Regional coverage tips for Blue Tick

If you want to get every bit of coverage you can and the most out of your Telstra Blue Tick phone, we have a few tips to follow, straight out of our lab.

  1. Hold your phone as light as possiblehow you hold your phone matters a lot. So next time you’re trying to make a call on the edge of coverage, try not to squeeze the life out of your phone.
  2. Turn on Wi-Fi calling and SMSif you get coverage outside, but not inside your home you can turn Wi-Fi calling and SMS on to make phone calls or send texts like normal using your home internet, even without any mobile coverage
  3. Use a headset or headphones for callsdon’t need to worry about how you’re holding your phone if you aren’t holding it, right?
  4. Take a look at repeaters or antennasan external antenna or repeater is much larger than the antenna in your phone and can pick up coverage your phone can’t. It then repeats that signal short distances for your phone to connect to.

Best Telstra Blue Tick phones in 2022

Blue Tick certification isn’t just something for premium devices. Whether you’re looking for something basic or the latest and greatest, there are Blue Tick phones across our entire range.

Devices |

Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ score Blue Tick for regional use

By Luke Hopewell February 2, 2021

The new Galaxy range from Samsung is more than just a pretty face. Right out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy S21+ are certified as Blue Tick devices. This means they’re part of our device range that is designed for use in regional areas. Here’s what that means.

The Telstra Blue Tick is the mark we give phones that have been thoroughly tested and deliver superior voice coverage in rural and regional areas. This means the devices were rigorously tested by our technicians and engineers for the best voice call performance in these regional and rural areas.

If you’re on the farm, out in the sticks or just want to make sure you have the best opportunity for coverage you can get, look for the Blue Tick from Telstra.

Which phones have Telstra Blue Tick?

As of January 2021, here is the list of Blue Tick certified phones on Telstra.

This month’s additions include the new Samsung Galaxy S21 5G and Galaxy S21+ 5G devices.

Samsung Galaxy A21s Telstra Essential
Samsung Galaxy A51 Telstra Essential Plus 3
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G Telstra Essential Pro 2 (A5 2020)
Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G Telstra Essential Smart 3
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G Telstra Evoke Plus 2
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G Telstra Evoke Pro 2
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Telstra Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Telstra Tough Max 3
Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G (new)
Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro Samsung Galaxy S21 5G (new)
Telstra EasyCall 5

What is the Telstra Blue Tick?

In 2007, when we shut down our CDMA network, we wanted to make sure we could recommend the right handsets to our customers in regional and rural areas. The new “NextG” network operated in a different way, and as a result, we needed to know which phones were best.

Since then, we’ve tested hundreds of devices for their performance on the 3G 850MHz and 4G 700MHz bands to determine their voice call performance

The best performers are awarded a Blue Tick.

How do we test phones for Blue Tick?

When Blue Tick first started, a crack team of Telstra technicians and engineers went bush with a range of devices to test exactly how they performed. While they were out there, they discovered a testing regimen that is still used today.

A Blue Tick comes down to how a phone performs on a voice call when you’re holding it in your hand to your ear. It’s the most common way we use a phone to make a call. For that reason, we used the same bloke’s hand to test the performance of a phone for a period of over a decade.

We now have more staffers whose hands are used for signal benchmarking. These hands work hard to run phones through a range of coverage tests to ensure you get the best coverage possible.

And now that we’ve been at this for a while, device manufacturers are working with our technicians to figure out how to maximise their coverage on networks like ours.

How to make sure you’re getting the best coverage in the bush

If you want to get every bit of coverage you can, there are a few tips to follow, straight out of our labs.

Covering the antenna in your phone can lead to reduced coverage in any area, let alone rural or regional. These tips are all about ways to not hold your phone in order to maximise coverage.

When you hold your phone, your hand doesn’t so much block the antenna. Instead, the antenna and the stuff in your body – we’re talking blood, sweat and bones – work to cancel each other out. Technicians call it a “detuning” effect that can reduce your overall coverage.

Therefore, it’s a no brainer to want to hold your phone better to get access to as much coverage as possible.

First and foremost, get yourself a Blue Tick certified device from Telstra to maximise your coverage opportunity.

Second, try using a wired or wireless headset so you don’t have to hold your device in your hand when taking a call.

And if you must hold your device, try and use as light a grip as you can to ensure your antenna can get as much exposure as possible.

We’ve put together a guide on how to get the best coverage in rural areas for you to read more.

Devices | Regional |

What does Blue Tick mean?

By Campbell Simpson January 21, 2019

Our Blue Tick means that a mobile device has been thoroughly tested and delivers superior voice coverage in rural and regional areas. Devices are tested for receiver sensitivity in a laboratory under controlled conditions and in rural areas on the Telstra Mobile Network, ensuring optimal call quality for customers.

It came about in 2007, when we shut down our CDMA network. We wanted to make sure we could recommend the right handsets to our customers in regional and rural areas. The new “NextG” network operated in a different way, and as a result, we needed to know which phones were best.

Since then, we’ve tested hundreds of devices for their performance on the 3G 850MHz and 4G 700MHz bands to determine their voice call performance

The best of these receive a Blue Tick.

A Blue Tick comes down to how a phone performs on a voice call when you’re holding it in your hand to your ear. It’s the most common way we use a phone to make a call. For that reason, we used the same bloke’s hand to test the performance of a phone for a period of over a decade.

We now have more staffers whose hands are used for signal benchmarking. These hands work hard to run phones through a range of coverage tests to ensure you get the best coverage possible.

And now that we’ve been at this for a while, device manufacturers are working with our technicians to figure out how to maximise their coverage on networks like ours.

It doesn’t matter if you’re after a device on a budget or want the latest flagship device, you’ll find Blue Tick devices right across the board – including the Telstra Tough Max 3, Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

There are heaps more in our range which you can find on our mobile devices page, just look out for the Blue Tick! And find out more on Blue Tick here.