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.

Telstra 5G network at 50 per cent
5G | Network | Telstra News |

One in two Aussies now covered by Telstra 5G

By Channa Seneviratne January 14, 2021

We’re all about setting bold resolutions for the new year, and we’ve already ticked a big one off our list right out of the gate. More than 50 per cent of Australia’s population now live inside of our 5G coverage footprint. And we’re not done yet: we’re aiming for 75 per cent population coverage before the end of June 2021.

From Bunbury to Berri, Cowell to Corowa, Warrnambool to Wagga Wagga and hundreds of places in between, more Aussies than ever can get access to the rollout of our 5G service thanks to this new coverage milestone.

That means these customers now have access to the nation’s largest 5G footprint, which will revolutionise the way that we live, work and stay entertained. Telstra 5G represents a massive leap forward in our speeds, data capacity and the number of devices we can connect at once.

And while it’s impressive now, it’s only going to get better.


Reaching 50 per cent of the Australian population is a massive milestone. Especially as our customers have told us that strong coverage is their number one priority.

But there’s still more work to be done to make sure that more people can get onto our awesome 5G experience. We already have more than 750,000 5G devices on our network, and we’re adding thousands more every week.

We’re continuing to rollout Telstra 5G to 75 per cent of the population by June 2021. It’s an aggressive target, but we’re sure we can hit it for our customers.

This next milestone will ensure more Aussies living in big cities, regional centres and country towns will be covered compared to any other telco. You can find out more about 5G coverage, our 5G enabled plans and devices and how to connect to the future on Telstra.com.

Regional |

Helping our regional and rural customers

By Janet Barnes October 8, 2020

Introducing the Regional Advisory Network (RAN): a new program we’ve put together for our regional, rural and remote customers that ensures we’re going the extra mile to help when and where they need it most.

What is it?

The Telstra Regional Advisory Network (or RAN) is a program that helps our regional customers (Consumer, Small Business & Enterprise) to get connected wherever they are in regional, rural or remote Australia. It provides holistic service solutions using our experts from regional Australia, as well as our Network & IT team and field technicians, to provide customers with a range of services from a simple fix to fully integrated and bespoke network solutions to ensure you’re able to make the most of your connection using our regional footprint. And it’s a big footprint.

We have the largest mobile network by a country mile: We cover around 1 million square kilometres across regional and rural Australia that is not served by any other carrier. It’s because of this investment and long history of supporting the regions that we wanted to ensure that our customers outside the major cities are able to get the help they need and deserve.

The RAN program has been designed to help customers who are having connectivity issues in their home, business premises or on the road. We want to be able to fix these problems the way that our regional customers need: by putting the right people on the job who understand the issue in detail and who can recommend a solution.

The RAN team is made up of expert Regional Network Advisors (or RNAs) from our Networks & IT team and Local Communications Advisors (LCAs) from our skilled field technician team, who are supported by the wider Regional Australia team. The RNAs and LCAs are scattered around the country so no matter where you live, you’ll have access to them, locals helping locals!

Why have we created it?

In an ever-evolving digital world, we understand the critical role telecommunications plays in regional Australia. Whether it’s connecting with family and friends, educating the kids, running your business or calling for help, having a reliable service is essential.

We also have a dedicated regional team with deep technical knowledge who understand the reality of connectivity and are able to help all customers make the most out of the network.

So we have put two and two together to deliver a personalised face to face service to help our customers by leveraging our team of experts.

The RAN is an integral part of Telstra’s broader Regional Workforce Strategy with a focus on maintaining Telstra’s workforce integrity in regional areas

How does it work?

You can find out more about the Regional Advisory Network and how to speak to someone on our team at our Regional Australia page.

For Mobile Coverage issues – You’ll be asked to complete a few questions online that will go to the specialist team, who will then arrange to call you back to understand more about your situation and what solutions will help get the outcome you’re after.

To invite a network expert to your event – This will give you the option to request the engagement of an RNA/LCA to attend a community event, to ensure the event has the right network support.

Regional |

How to prepare and stay connected during disaster season

By Dr Ben Gursansky September 17, 2020

We live in unprecedented times, there’s no question. But even with COVID-19 front of mind for so many, we still need to prepare for a season of natural disasters no matter where we are in the country. Here’s the tech you need in your disaster kit to stay connected.

Did you know?

Disasters impact all of us and being prepared can make things a bit easier. We’ll be running a series of blogs to help you prepare to stay connected in the event you experience a disaster in your area.

First and foremost, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place before a critical incident arrives on your doorstep. That way you can quickly and efficiently evacuate and get you and your family to safety.

When preparing, ensure you consider the following from our emergency toolkit to keep you online and informed.

Mobile phones and portable devices

Invest in an alternative charger.

If you don’t already have one, purchase a phone charger that isn’t dependent on a power outlet. A popular choice is a ‘power bank’ battery pack that can be charged from a power outlet prior to an event and used if grid electricity is unavailable, or a portable solar panel charger or in-car charger.

Back up your data.

Store your important data, like contact information and personal photos, in the cloud using an online service. If you have an Apple or Google device, these smartphones have automatic backups that you can enable for extra peace of mind.

Know your emergency numbers.

Store a list of essential contact numbers for your local Police, Fire, SES teams as well as friends and family on your phone and as a backup. Make sure you include our dedicated disaster assistance number – 1800 888 888.

When you have your list of essential numbers, make sure you make a printed copy to keep in your wallet, purse or bag, and keep a version in your car as well. Power can go out for a week or longer during a disaster. Keeping a printed copy means that if your phone is out of battery and you need an important phone number, you have it handy at all times.

Consider a satellite phone.

In rural and regional areas, a satellite phone should usually be independent of any damaged infrastructure and can operate in remote locations. If your communications are critical or if you are in an isolated area, a satellite phone backup could come in handy. And if you only have one, make sure it is charged and accessible in the event you do need to use it.

Consider a repeater device

Like any mobile network, coverage on the Telstra Mobile Network depends on where you are, the mobile handset, tablet or mobile broadband device you’re using, and whether an external antenna can be attached. It’s important to understand that different devices have different capabilities.

Legal network coverage extension devices amplify the network signal your mobile device receives, which extends the area that your device can work in. These devices can help you connect to the Telstra Mobile Network from further away than normally possible, or in areas where signal may struggle to penetrate – such as indoors, or in hilly or dense terrain.

It’s important to note that boosters are illegal to own or operate on any network in Australia, and they can disrupt or even prevent others from making calls to emergency 000.

Legal wireless network coverage extension devices, such as the Telstra Mobile Smart Antenna and Telstra Go, are also known as ‘repeaters’ as they repeat the signal from one location to another.

You can see our range of repeaters and extenders on our website.

Fixed line phones

Home phones on the NBN are different.

Since the NBN carries your home phone line, it will be unavailable during a power outage. It’s best to have a mobile phone or satellite phone handy for this instance, especially in remote areas.

Enable Wi-Fi calling.

If cellular network signal is down during a disaster, you can still use your mobile phone to make and receive calls and text messages, provided it supports Wi-Fi Calling. Wi-Fi Calling provides basic voice-calling capability on compatible devices when you’re connected to a supported Wi-Fi network and can’t connect to the Telstra Mobile Network.

We have also switched on SMS over Wi-Fi, allowing you to receive texts via your fixed home network

Read our FAQ of how to set it up on your phone before you need it.

Keep a corded phone.

A cordless fixed line phone is convenient, but remember, most cordless phones rely on electric power to operate, so you may lose the use of your landline during a power outage. A corded phone draws its electricity directly from the phone line (excluding fixed line phones on NBN) and can be used during a power outage.

Keeping In Touch

Set up a virtual meeting place. If you have internet access, an instant messaging group chat with friends and family, or a social media site like Facebook or even Instagram, can give you and your loved ones extra information during a time of crisis.

Establish a calling tree: If mobile services have been impacted, find your local payphone – which is a fixed line service, and is more likely to withstand disaster impacts – and call a key contact who can then call other family and friends to inform them you’re safe.

Evacuation locations: Know where your local evacuation centre and emergency meeting spots are and what different routes you can use to get there as some roads may not be accessible during the disaster.

Download emergency services apps. These official apps will give you the most up-to-date information on what’s happening in your area, including natural disaster warnings.

Be alert. Subscribe to services that will alert you to weather changes, road closures and updates from other service providers in your area.

Use local information sources. Online, social media accounts for your local authorities and emergency services will share crucial information. Your local broadcaster will also share information over the radio – make sure you have a battery-powered radio or car radio to listen in on.

Below we’ve provided a preliminary list of information sources you may want to consider.

Government agencies for emergency response information:

Other critical information websites:

Regional Australia
Regional | Telstra News |

Giving back to our regions

By Dr Ben Gursansky September 10, 2020

Telstra’s executive regularly travels to regional areas to meet with rural and regional customers and stakeholders in their communities to get a firsthand sense of the issues that matter most to them. While this hasn’t been physically possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, it hasn’t stopped us from keeping a strong focus on connecting with and supporting regional Australia.

We care deeply about keeping communities connected, which is why our purpose is to create a connected future where everyone can thrive. It is also why we’re working to help foster digital inclusion and provide support to community organisations. In more recent times that is especially so for those that have been impacted by the various crises experienced right across our country, from bushfires, drought, floods and now COVID-19.

We’ve identified a range of essential services – not-for-profit, and cause-related organisations – that are on the frontline of helping disadvantaged groups and impacted communities, and we’re working closely to help them with various philanthropic endeavours and initiatives. Many of these organisations we already partner with through our business, and this donation is an extension of that support to further enable their important work continuing through technology.

Melbourne Indigenous Transition School

This includes organisations like the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS), where COVID-19 affected students’ ability to stay connected to the school during the ongoing lockdown.

It was critical that students remained connected with the school and each other during the lockdown. MITS staff had to ensure they were able to continue their academic growth when away from Melbourne, which means a heavy reliance on technology. Technology that isn’t as accessible in remote Indigenous communities.

We helped to keep students connected to their schooling with a donation of mobile broadband devices delivered safely and contactlessly into Indigenous communities to ensure classes could continue remotely. Schoolwork is now completed at a distance via virtual software applications each day. The children are able to connect in real-time and discuss their work via online learning.

SHINE for KIDS

SHINE for KIDS is a national charity supporting children and their families with relatives in the criminal justice system. Being separated from a parent is a traumatic experience, and prisons can be tough on kids visiting their parents or relatives.

SHINE for KIDS is designed to help families maintain relationships while incarcerated, but the effects of COVID-19 mean that physical access to prisons has been limited in 2020.

Our donation has allowed children to stay connected to their families through the pandemic virtually. Parents can now connect with their children via iPads and read books to them to maintain the all-important relationship.

Youth Insearch

Youth Insearch works with at-risk youths aged 14-20 to help them onto the right path for success.

Since 1985, it has worked with youths in the community to reduce crime, violence, drug/alcohol abuse, self-harm and suicide in young people through workshops and community support. It also works to get youths helping youths so each member can positively affect others.

Similarly, COVID-19 meant that in-person workshops were not always possible, but with our donation we’re helping to facilitate these mentor meetings virtually.

We remain committed to supporting regional Australia. As restrictions lift, we are looking forward to getting back out across our beautiful and vast country to hear from our customers, and continue to provide assistance in the future to organisations that are helping to improve the lives for all Australians.