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Signal Boosters 'Optus CelFi Go' - My unit has been installed, 5 bars at last

SCuFf

I have been a customer of Virgin mobile for over ten years. But, since moving to a more rural area my cost effective mobile service suddenly became my only choice. With no coverage from the other mobile telco’s, Optus’ network provided me with my only mobile service. Unfortunately even that was very poor. Two bars outside the house turned to 1 bar (or even zero) inside the house. Things improved, slightly,  following the decommission of analogue telly, the 700Mhz Band 28 frequency was rolled out by all of the carriers in my area and my signal marginally improved. I had to go outside only 80% of the time to make a phone call!.

 
As I frequently work from home I started investigating signal boosters. I quickly dismissed the dodgy Chinese imports, considered ones that had been approved in Europe (still illegal here) but ultimately decided to try the Cel-Fi Pro. Eagerly I ordered the unit complete with external antenna. Once installed I powered of expecting to see 5 bars and saw….. nothing, no change. The unit’s frequencies were happily boosting 3g to 3 bars but this stronger signal was dismissed by my phones as it preferred the intermittent 4g single bar. After returning the unit to Powertec they told me about an upcoming new model that might fit the bill. The Optus CelFi Go would support the frequencies I needed, but it had been waiting for approval from the Optus team for some months so they didn’t know when it would be available. After a couple of months and some gentle prodding of Optus via the forums the unit was released early July 2019. 
 
The Optus CelFi Go has been designed as a mobile signal booster so can be installed in caravans, cars and so on. But, there is an option of a “building pack”. Its a one piece unit that can take both an internal (to the house) and external antenna. Mobile signals are sent and received to the tower via the external antennae and your phone talks to the internal antenna as though its talking directly to the tower. Knowing how bad the signal is in my area in general and in my house specifically I purchased the highest gain internal and external antennas I could and also ordered the professional installation option.
 
The installer duly arrived, his first words were that I should hold out much hope. These boosters normally just stabilise the signal but don’t add much strength. He would go ahead with the install be he wanted to explain that if (when) it failed to do much for my signal it wouldn’t be something he could help with. Devastated I let him continue the installation. Once he has roughed in the cabling before final install, he aligned the antennas and asked me to configure the unit and reboot my phone. With an increasing sensitivity of disappointment I registered the unit on the CelFi Wave app, there was no additional configuration required and so I rebooted my phone. The phone would normally spend a minute or two “searching” before suddenly seeing… 5 bars???? Wait, what?? Surely I was told it wouldn’t have much effect. The Wave App told me that the external antenna had boosted reception to 3 bars with the Celfi boosting the internal signal up to 5 bars.
 
Suddenly I have full bars in my house!! Perfect audio on the phone calls I even can use VoLTE. OK so LTE data is a little slow, 7MB down and 20MB up (bit odd) but that’s better than the 0.1 down 0.1 up I had previously. This is astonishing.
 
I have been using the CelFi Go for Optus for a little while since its install. No call drop out, no repeated “hello.. can you hear me.. hello??” And I can even browse the web, stream music and video and get my email. The Pro unit was available both directly from Powertec or via Optus providing a voucher redeemable at Powertec. I haven’t seen Optus do the same with the Go unit as yet but I expect they will start selling soon. 
 
The Unit I purchased was the building pack at $1274.63 including the highest gain antennas, extra length cables and GST but excluding installation. https://powertec.com.au/product/cel-fi-go-optus-building-lpda-pack-inc-wall-mount-10m-20m-pt240/ You can even pay in installments using Humm. If you work from home it may even be a business expense. Powertec will even take the unit back if it turns out it doesn’t help.
 
If you are in a low signal area you might want to give this a go. 

Re: Signal Boosters 'Optus CelFi Go' - My unit has been installed, 5 bars at last

Davelew

Hi

Interesting and fairly costly.

As you had VoLTE on your mobile could you have enabled wifi calling.   If not it might have been cheaper to purchase a phone with wifi calling. I am presuming you have home broadband.

 

Dave


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Re: Signal Boosters 'Optus CelFi Go' - My unit has been installed, 5 bars at last

SCuFf

Sky muster only. 900ms latency makes VOIP impossible and the 150GB quota never makes it through the month Smiley Sad I'm hoping to swap away from paying for a pretty awful $120 Sky Muster service to using Optus LTE. It might not have as large a bandwidth but the 20ms latency makes it more usable than the satellite.

Re: Signal Boosters 'Optus CelFi Go' - My unit has been installed, 5 bars at last

[ Edited ]
Davelew

My home had poor mobile phone reception but I am connected to the NBN so wifi calling works well for me. I also use Optus mobile broadband as I am away a lot in my caravan but when I have tried it at home, even with poor mobile reception,  I get good internet speeds so may be worth trying.


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I’m a Yes Crowd Champion (not an Optus employee). I share my knowledge on Yes Crowd on a voluntary basis. If I answered your question, please mark it as a Accepted Solution. If I helped you out, hit that Kudos button Smiley Happy

Re: Signal Boosters 'Optus CelFi Go' - My unit has been installed, 5 bars at last

Ray_YC

I remember when you first enquired about the boosters.


Thanks heaps for returning to share your experience using them! ☺️ 


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Re: Signal Boosters 'Optus CelFi Go' - My unit has been installed, 5 bars at last

Lem

Note that the Cel-fi Go is only SiSo and won't boost 3G and 4G at the same time.
And,  in my experience the data speeds are much slower via the repeater than by a direct connection to a modem.
With 2 bars of outdors signal it would be better to insall a decent MiMo antenna system connected to a modem and try VoWifi

Two of these for MiMo 15dBi 4G 4GX 3G 700/850/900MHz Parabolic Grid Antenna suits  locations with only 700MHz (B28)  available.

 

Re: Signal Boosters 'Optus CelFi Go' - My unit has been installed, 5 bars at last

SCuFf

What an interesting idea. It might not work for me because of the very poor reception. I'm on full boost on the CelFi and I'm using the highest gain antennas available. But, $320 to get a faster internet is worth investigating to get off of this awful Sky Muster.

 

Although the wifi hot spots often have antenna sockets, is there anything that makes any particular unit better at operating with these antennas? It feels like the standard guage antenna cables might be problematic with the tiny SMA connectors.

Highlighted

Re: Signal Boosters 'Optus CelFi Go' - My unit has been installed, 5 bars at last

[ Edited ]
Lem

Hmm,  well if the Cel-fi booster is having to apply full (100dB)  boost then you may not have enough signal to direct-connect. even for those parabolic antennas. If you take your phone up to the antenna location (Turn the Cel-fi OFF) and you get say 1 bar or more of  4G signal,  then those antennas should work.  What type of antenna is the "highest gain antennas available" you currently have connected to the Cel-fi? Maybe contact the guys at onwireless.com.au regarding your situation. They've helped me out with advice on some install jobs in the past.

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