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How to Maximise Your Optus Coverage in Regional Areas

Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
5 20 43.4K

If you live in a regional area, or travel regularly to the bush, keep a look out for phones with the new Top Pick for our Regional Coverage badge. It will give you our best voice and data reception in regional areas.


We do extensive network testing in regional areas for both voice and data – like signal strength and how far your coverage extends. Only phones that pass these tests earn this badge.


What does the badge mean for you?BFR.png

If you live in a regional area then getting a phone that can go the extra distance could be for you - especially if you’re not close to our nearest tower.


How much difference does it make?


You’ll get our best coverage experience, based on the service available in your regional area.


Phones with the Top Pick for our Regional Coverage badge may get a stronger signal or a more reliable connection in areas with limited mobile coverage (indoors or outdoors) compared to other phones that do not have this badge.


Remember, coverage availability and quality will vary. It depends on your location, local conditions and terrain, the distance from our mobile tower and the number of people using the network.


What phones have earned the badge?


We’ve got a great range of postpaid and prepaid phones that have earned the Top pick for our Regional Coverage badge, including:




  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Huawei Mate20 Pro
  • iPhone 6s Plus




  • Optus X Vista


Make sure you keep an eye out for updates as we’re testing new phones all the time.


Why do some phones provide better coverage?


Several factors can impact your network coverage including the phone design features, such as the built-in internal antenna, material casing and even phone size (or form factor). This means some phones offer extended coverage and can connect to our network from further away or at greater distances from the nearest mobile tower.


Chosen a device without the badge?


Don’t worry – you can still expect a great experience. We only stock devices that work great on our network.


Does the new rating apply to BYO phones?


No – the rating only applies to phones purchased from Optus. We only test phones that are stocked by Optus.


New Contributor KenG
New Contributor

In my role as President of the Combined Probus Club of Maleny I must travel to Maleny from Nambour two times a month. Each time I drive up to attend Club committee meetings, or the monthly General Meeting of members, I cannot make or receive phone calls on my iPhone 6S. Such calls are part of my Presidential duties at a Probus Club totalling 120 members. When I moved to Maleny in 2010 I discovered the area was TELSTRA ONLY! So out of necessity I joined Telstra but had many problems with their service. In late 2015 my wife and I moved to Rosemount, near Nambour, and expected better service by joining Optus. It is the total lack of Optus signal in the hinterland that is extremely annoying! When can an upgrade be expected?

Yesterday I received an SMS advising me that I'd exceeded by monthly usage of 16GB and must pay $10 for an extra 1GB. Being a 79yr old pensioner I'll now close down my PC and iPad until my usage is refreshed on Feb 27. I'll have to use my iPhone 6S sparingly! I have one neighbour at our Retirement Resort who has a monthly Optus usage allowance of 100GB, how can that happen? Another neightbour has 100GB by being contracted to Internode in Adelaide. Why do these extreme differences occur? At this time I am a very angry Optus customer.  

RetiredModerator Gen_R

Hey KenG - can appreciate how frustrating this would for you.


I've checked the coverage around Maleny and the closest sites are located in Bald Knob and whilst Nambour has its own site. In terms of upgrades to that area I can see there's a site planned for Landsborough later this year and more upgrades coming for Nambour CBD area. 


In terms of your usage, have you had a look at the MyOptus app and the Data Breakdown tab to see where your usage is being allocated?

We can't really comment on the other plans you've mentioned as they may be for fixed internet which is cheaper than mobile as the technology is much older.

New Member Kerrie53
New Member

I am Secretary of a Charitable Organisation and we have 5 Phones using the Optus Network recently we purchased a Samsung Galaxy S5 and are having terrible trouble with service, conversation just drops out.  I attended my local Optus Store and the gentleman changed the SIM and said this should change things, alas no change still having problems with drop outs.  Help me Optus!!!

RetiredModerator Hollie

Hey Kerrie53 - might be worth chatting with our tech support team about this on 131344 or alternatively PM me through the company name, your full name, position in the company, the address and the number and we cn have a look into this.

Frequent Visitor ajkemeny
Frequent Visitor

I would like to comment on Optus coverage in East Bowral, NSW. Your coverage maps say everything is "great" which is wildly inaccurate. It is generally well known amongst locals here that Optus coverage is woeful, there is only 1 network that provides decent coverage and it is not Optus! I have 2 Optus mobile services and I've long ago given up trying to reliably make and receive calls and text when at home. The local Optus shop (Mittagong) confirms they get lots of complaints. This is a growing area - can you please advise when you will improve coverage?

RetiredModerator Shauna

Thanks for providing us with some feedback around your coverage @ajkemeny. Sounds like it would be quite frustrating being told everything is fine, when you're not experiencing adequate coverage. Could you please send me a private message here with your full address? It will allow us to take a further look into your coverage. Also, I can see you posted this quite some time ago, so I would like to apologise for our delayed response. It seems like we've really dropped the ball on this one. 

New Contributor glenn13
New Contributor

ok so I have a Iphone 7 brand new on a new contract with Optus , I have just moved to a new house in a place called The Gurdies (half way to Phillip Island in Victoria) and guess what it doesnt work , 1 Bar at the most and extremely unhappy that now I am locked into this service when there is actually no phone service. I need the phone for everyday use and now dont know what to do, I cant afford to pay it out at $106 per month and only 6 months old. any help would be appreciated. 

RetiredModerator JordanOptus

Hey glenn13, definitely not what we want to hear at all.


I'd suggest coming through our chat here and discussing your options.




New Contributor Su01
New Contributor
Folks, I too live in a remote community and in my experience the mobile phone coverage from Optus is terrible, the only way I could make a call was to stand in the middle of the front yard, so we changed our mobile phones to another carrier. We currently have our mobile wifi with Optus, but given my experience with their "customer support" in the last few months I'm not sure how long that will last. If you live in a remote area, don't bother with the latest technology for home use (e.g wifi), but stick with the tried and true (and unlimited) technologies such as ADSL2....that's what I would do but there are no spare ports (spots to plug in) available, also means we can't have a home phone. Cheers, Sue
Occasional Visitor HelenO
Occasional Visitor

We live 28 kms from Lismore, far North NSW, and even though there are very few hills between us and Lismore, the Optus coverage here is woeful! I can only take calls on my mobile if I stand near the front door or in the front garden. SMS messages sometimes come in hours, or even days, after they were sent. We were promised that the coverage here was "excellent". If this is excellent I'd hate to see poor!!!

We have put in complaints at the local Optus store and been told "that's how it is up here sometimes".

I share the GRRRRRR that I hear in other people's posts. We're only 15 kms, by road, from the Pacific Highway and about the same, as the crow flies, from Lismore. We live in a small town, not out in the bush.

I might add we did have our mobiles with the other main competitor, but changed to Optus because their coverage was woeful too. Friends have accounts with them and their coverage has increased significantly. They can even sit in their house and make and receive calls - luxury!!

We're about to jump ship and go back to the competition as soon as our contracts expire, so Optus, the ball's in your court!!!

Occasional Visitor Teddy326
Occasional Visitor

Nothing here about using directional antennas.  

What about Optus organising a repeater station for a domestic installation with a directional antenna mounted high on the house.  Not cheap but it may be the only option if a home phone is not available.

Repeats the signal for the mobile used domestically.


Directional antennas are used to get signal for Mobile Broadband devices.


Occasional Contributor timetaxi
Occasional Contributor



Do you think it might be a good idea to update the list of phones or include a link to the current list?



RetiredModerator Shauna

Hey @timetaxi - I'll be sure to pass this onto our content guys for an update. Thanks for the reminder 🙂 

New Member Linkybear
New Member

I am also appalled at the third world coverage we get at our house.  We're 37km from the Brisbane GPO - hardly rural or regional - but I struggle to get phone coverage in most areas of our house.  I work from home a couple of times a week and I'm not able to make or receive calls unless I place the phone on a louvre near the window.  Even then the reception drops in and out.  I can have 2 bars on the phone then go to make a call and get a message advising 'Mobile network not available'. I am beyond frustrated at the pitiful reception out here.  Sort it out Optus!!

Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager

Hi @Linkybear,

Hoping to understand your issue a bit further so we can do our best to see if it can be sorted out. How long have you been experiencing problems with your coverage? Do other people also with Optus experience the same? Have you reported this to us previously? What troubleshooting have you tried?
Have you checked out our network status page? Sorry for all the questions but this info will get us on our way to helping out.

New Member NevShaw
New Member

I live 3.5 kms from the Optus tower and I often can't connect to the internet with my Mobile Broadband, it is also often slow. In addition to this I purchased the Oppo mobile phone Optus recommended for use in regional areas and I often can't connect to the internet, or receive emails and making calls depends on where I stand, or the weather or just good luck. Optus after sales service is very oor, I've tried to chat and it often drops out half way through, surely if this happens the operator could call me. The Online help just goes round in circles and I just tried to ring Customer Support after spending 30 minutes trying to find the number on the website and I can't connect. The only reason I stay with Optus is that they are less exensive than Telstra and include more data, but that is starting to wear a bit thin. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!!!

New Member NevShaw
New Member

I've been trying to have all my services put on my account for about four months, numerous phone calls and chat sessions and it still hasn't happened. Surely this is a basc thing to set up. I have my mobile on my account and it would be nice to check balances and recharge my ther services via my account. YES I have downlaoded the app, not that it made any difference. Very dissapointed with Optus, 2 our of 10 for service and reliability.

Occasional Visitor Teddy326
Occasional Visitor

Have a look at some specialist suppliers.

I have no connection with the suppliers mentioned for example only.

I have solved this problem with a directional antenna.

The critical thing here is that the antenna has to be able to "see" the tower if possible although I have had success pointing through a forest for a short distance then 30km to the tower.

Here is a expensive one:

Here is the cheaper one that I used.

Critical thing is wideband to cover all the frequencies from the tower.

You can find the frequencies here and can search for postcodes etc.

3337 is a special one as it is 1028m above sea level and gives a wide coverage.

Device used was a Huawei E5573 which has a external antenna connection.  Not many mobile phones have this.

The beauty of the E5573 and similar is that is transmits a 4G wifi signal and it has battery back up.  It needs power from a USB adapter from AC power extention lead.

The device can be mounted high up in e.g. under the eave of the house so the cable from the antenna is as short as possible.  Although this is inconvenient if the device need resetting.  (Although you can do this by switching the power on and off.).  I used a 5m coaxial cable and a patch lead.

You might need a adapter to connect the cable to the Antenna and some self amalgamating tape to wind around the joins that are out in the wet + some cable ties and a bolt on mast.

For lumpy terrain between the antenna and the tower a path profile might be necessary.  In NSW I can get the lat long of the places from the gov six maps.

Lastly if you need a repeater station they are much more expensive:

New Member NanaOnTheRoad
New Member

This post is 4 years old, an updated list would be good

Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager

Hi there,

This list has been updated and can also be found by visiting our website.