Call for action after Vodafone outage

Published 2:00pm 15 January 2024

Call for action after Vodafone outage
Words by Kylie Knight

A Margate resident is leading the charge against his mobile phone provider after severe disruption to coverage since a nearby mobile phone tower was removed in December.

Vodafone customer Scott Bevis says coverage has always been patchy, but it has been limited and often non-existent since December when he believes Vodafone infrastructure was removed from the top of the water tower at Duffield Rd, Margate.

Scott says he now can only get a signal when he’s standing on the foreshore at Margate (connecting with the Port of Brisbane tower) or near Redcliffe Tennis Centre.

He says Optus customers have been affected as well, but problems have eased with the recent installation of a small tower near the water tower on Duffield Rd.

Scott, who worked for Telstra for more than 20 years and has a deep understanding of mobile phone infrastructure, says he contacted Vodafone last week and says he was told the tower had been decommissioned on December 5 and the situation reviewed in early August, 2024.

He made a complaint to the ombudsman on January 10 and says he will continue to keep pushing for the issue to be resolved.

“Until I get some resolution from these guys I have to sit on my hands and wait,” Scott says.

Vodafone working on solution

A Vodafone spokesman says the site at Duffield Rd was decommissioned after the lease expired ‘due to a planned property development in the area’.

“We have been working with our network partners to source an appropriate replacement site, but it has taken longer than anticipated,” the spokesman says.

“A new site location has been secured and teams are working to expedite the new activation as early as March.

“While the new site is developed, customers in the area might experience a degradation in voice and data services. Triple Zero calls will continue to work for emergency events.

“We apologise for this inconvenience and are working hard to return service to its full capability.”

Unitywater Executive Manager Strategic Engagement Joshua Zugajev says telecommunications infrastructure was removed from the Duffield Rd water tower ‘as part of a maintenance project which has progressively taken place over the last six months’.

“The removal of this infrastructure was essential in ensuring the safety of our team as they complete essential maintenance to an active Unitywater asset, providing safe and secure storage of water for the Margate community,” he says.

“Telecommunications infrastructure owned by Optus has been temporarily relocated to a portable base station on the property.

“With this maintenance required every two years, the telecommunications infrastructure will not be reinstated on the water storage facility but plans for the construction of a more permanent solution on a nearby Unitywater property are underway in collaboration with Optus.”

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