It started a few days ago with poor quality calls and call dropouts but now Telstra’s mobile network near the Sydney CBD appears to be struggling with the volume of work from home users due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Yesterday and today only a fraction of the calls I’ve tried to make have connected the first time. Chris, too, has experienced some issues on Vodafone’s network (but only once or twice in 24 hours).

Sometimes even before the number dials out I get an automated recorded message:

“Service to the telecommunications network you are calling is temporarily congested…”

Another common occurrence is my phone dialler saying “Couldn’t Connect”.

When calls have connected they have often been quite scratchy and low quality regardless of whether the call was made on the mobile network outside, via VOLTE or VOWIFI.

My guess about the cause of all these mobile network call glitches is that during the last few days more and more people have been sent home from work and told to work from home.

Cell towers which typically deal with a relatively small number of people passing through their area during the business day are now getting smashed with lots of people staying in their home and making calls to their boss, colleagues and customers.

Please let us know if you have experienced any issues calling or receiving calls on the Telstra mobile network, Vodafone or Optus during the last few days.

If you have, the best bet is to try and use some form of iP-based communication instead – Skype, Duo, MS Teams, Zoom Meetings, etc – as these seem to be working quite well in the current environment.

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I experienced mobile phone failure on Thursday afternoon in Adelaide. I was told the system was congested and would not connect either to receiving or making calls.
Not good enough.


My FTTC 100/40 NBN with Aussie Broadband had also been great. We are only part of the few though. Connecting to network drivers over VPN is similar to my experience in the office

Trevor S

“The NBN was a waste of time and money. Everyone will just use 4G!” – Clueless voter