What is a Mobile Hotspot?

The CfAT Mobile Phone Hotspot is a one-user-at-a-time facility to extend mobile coverage in fringe areas with poor coverage.

How does it work?

The dish is aimed at the nearest or most suitable mobile tower, and because of its large receiving area, the dish captures more signal than the phone’s built-in antenna, as it focuses this stronger signal down to the cradle top where the phone sits. The user simply places their phone on the cradle and waits for a few seconds for signal to appear. The phone can be used in loudspeaker mode, or as a personal hotspot.

Hotspots are ideally suited for extending coverage to remote area settlements, roadside rest areas, truck stops, tourist locations and strategic road junctions; in short any important location that is currently outside the footprint of mobile coverage. Hotspots will work equally well with Optus, Telstra or Vodafone signals, and with 3G, 4G or 4GX, provided there is already a very weak signal at the location of interest.  A rule of thumb indicator is that text messages can occasionally be received or sent from that location.


Locate the


CAT Ltd Mobile Phone Hotspots

Owens Springs Historical Site

daly waters north truck stop IMG_0215.JPG

Kata Tjuta View

Linking in to the Tourism industry, the mobile phone hotpot act as a form of communication through to friends and family touring the Northern Territory, Australia. People are updating their social networks on their journey.

0753 Phil Coombes of the CAT Enterprise team using the hotspot at Red Sandhill outstation near Hermannsburg ac.jpg

Remote Community

The clear attractiveness of the mobile phone hotpot is that it brings communication between people in remote communities to those in regional metropolitan areas. Connectivity in the bush is a necessity have when you need access to the basic municipal services.

The Hotspot project received the NT Chief Minister’s inaugural Industry Innovation Award in September 2016.

Follow the link to find out more stories from our supporters: https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/portal/node/11626 .

Andrew Crouch, Senior Research and Projects Officer receiving the Award!