Telstra's blue tick phones

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Telstra's blue tick (Credit: Telstra)

The announcement of Telstra's CDMA network shut-down in April 2008 certainly ruffled the feathers of rural customers who had been concerned about losing their existing network coverage.

To counteract these concerns, Telstra established the "Blue Tick" as a way of indicating to its customers which Next G capable handset has superior reception in regional areas, as per Telstra's own in-house testing procedures. These tests include practical handset trials both in the labs and on the ground in remote areas, emulating typical usage where possible.

Because we haven't tested these claims ourselves we suggest that you don't consider the blue tick a guarantee of clear reception, but more a recommendation to help start the conversation with your local mobile phone dealer about which handset will best suit your needs.

As with all mobile phone technologies, this list fluctuates; with phones being added and subtracted as they become available or are superseded. Below is the current list of blue tick phones reviewed by the editors at

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thevikster posted a comment   

I had a very old ZTE ph that I wanted to upgrade due to it not having many of the new features on mobile phs, I did my research, and because I live in a rural area of QLD I needed a blue tick ph. I purchased a Samsung 3g blue tick pre paid mobile.
the old ph worked fine inside my house. the new one has never worked inside since I got it 2 mths ago. after being disconnected from online chat 12 times in 10 mins, I rang Telstra, only to be give the old ph runaround and after 25 mins I finally spoke to someone, they assured me that as I have been complaining about this ph since I got it, my case manager will deff contact me, 2 weeks later, no call, so I rang them again ( after trying and failing again with online chat).
eventually when I DID speak to my case manager, I was told there is nothing they can do to restore my reception because it was pre-paid, if it was on a plan they could boost the reception, he even suggested I get a blue tick ph that would work in my area, got silence when I told him I DID have a blue tick ph...
he had 2 solutions, put my sim in my old ph and use that, or get a refund for my new phone, that's fine, but it still doesn't get me a working phone, I did explain to them I didn't have a landline and I am a disability pension and NEED a working phone, but that didn't seem to matter.
NOW I have to find a provider that CAN offer me service, ANY SUGGESTIONS??????????????


danielr posted a comment   

I live in a remote area and Telstra phone are not working most of the time, I live in a small town and Telstra assures me that I have good reception, but the reality is that for me to get some coverage I have a car antenna (one of the big antennas that people here put on their bull bars) in my house window. When they put up the towers they tested the mobile whilst in vicinity of the tower in which the town is not. So most of us bought mobiles with patch leads to hook a little antenna to But Telstra in all there wisdom do not make mobile with patch leads anymore (none that is affordable) as they tell us we don't need that anymore as our mobiles now work with out them --not true.
We have the same problem with internet most of the town has bad reception and regularly loose connection, I decided I would go westnet as they are able to give internet in the town i am (not all towns around me are this lucky)
I have excellent coverage and speed, I tried Telstra a few weeks ago and I could not do banking online as it was to slow, so went back to westnet and the problem is fixed. We desperately need another mobile carrier, I can tell you that no one would stay with telstra.


TravisD posted a comment   

Have had a Nokia N95 (editors choice) and I think the most important feature of any blue tick phone is the ability to plug in an external antenna through a tether plug (not to be confused with tethering modems).

Unfortunately most new phones don't have this. For $50 you can buy a tether and aireal that will massively increase your range. The N95 doesn't have this (but can do via car kit). The ZTE 165 is cheap on ebay and is my pick (had outright for $100)


matt posted a comment   

whats is the best phone for rual areas?


chickoa posted a comment   

does the iphone4 have this so called rural tick ??


Cheryl posted a comment   

I used to have CDMA as well and never had problems when we traveled with friends I had reception they didn't with thier next G. I was finally forced to make the change, my present phone is GSM and works ok, now I am tryin to upgrade my phone to next G to enable me to social network, now I am told only a blue tick phone will work in my area, so I am limited to handsets and guess what most of them are telstra brand which are not comoatible with my bluetooth intergration in my car yet my old GSM is I have 2 handset options and Telstra don't sell either of them yet they have blue ticked them.


Arkaydan posted a comment   

We used a Samsung A412 with Telstra Next G.... and toured Tassie. Ppl with us were using 3 and Optus and they hardly ever had a signal anywhere. We had a signal 98% of the time and they couldnt believe it. In Hobart they both bought Next G plug ins for their computers and are going to change their phone providers as they both want to travel around Australia.


Karl posted a comment   

Bought a next g ZTE 165 because we regularly go bush have an external aerial on my vehicle. Would class the coverage as ok not exceptional. Will upgrade to the next phone to ensure compatibility with other devices. What would make more sense is an affordable satellite phone network, for everyone to use that wants it.


ruralnurse posted a comment   

I live 300 k's northeast of Hedland WA.My Samsung SGH-A411 next g phone is streets ahead of my old CDMA.Not really flash in the summer but adequate in cooler weather. However my next g broadband plugin is scratchy in the middle of Hedland. Why don't you people having trouble get a satphone? They are now relatively inexpensive and never fail, provided you get a Telstra one. I have one for when mobile is out of range.


ken posted a comment   

I've traveled from east to west across the top and nth to south down the middle and down the east coast...Unless you are on the east coast, next g is pretty pointless unless you live in a town or..(when you get way out west) in an aboriginal comunity or in a town with a large population of them. you might as well have gsm

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