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CDMA D-DAY is approaching - Things to Consider - What's New? CDMA D-DAY is approaching - Things to Consider

09 January 2008
Reported by Max Bondorovsky

The days of CDMA are coming to an end and as elegantly worded by Telstra's Country wide director, Gary Goldsworthy "Australians know that the clock is well and truly ticking down". We initially reported Telstra's decision to turn off the CDMA network in July 2007 and at the time of writing this story there are officially 19 days left with D-Day coming on 28 January 2008.

Recently Telstra recorded a surge in customer enquiries about how to migrate from CDMA to the Telstra Next G network causing them to release a press statement outlining the most frequently asked questions. In addition to reading the release, I have also contacted Telstra to obtain some extra details regarding customers on CDMA contracts and their various options, the current set up will be as follows:

  • Telstra is trying to make the transition as simple as possible for current CDMA customers by offering a $100 bonus for current CDMA post-paid customers to move to the Next G network.

  • If a customer is on a Telstra CDMA contract and decided to move to Telstra Next G, the CDMA contract gets cancelled and a new Next G contract will need to be signed. The old contract becomes completely invalid and the new contract starts from the day it's signed. The customer can switch to any new plan i.e. it can be either higher or lower than their old CDMA contact.

  • If a customer is on a Telstra CDMA contract and decides to port out or cancel, then a cancellation fee will be charged. The cancellation figure will be as per contractual agreement.

  • If nothing is done before the network is switched off, then the mobile number will be lost (cancelled). When I spoke to Telstra I was informed that it will be gone forever, but this doesn't sound very right to me as I would of assumed that there would some plan for those customers that did not act in time or have some reason for not being able to make arrangements, e.g. overseas, sickness etc.
Since CDMA operated in a different manner, a new phone will be required when moving onto the Next G network, or anywhere else for that matter. The Next G handset range is very diverse and there should be something in there for everyone, "there are now close to 30 mobile phones on the Telstra Next G network, including pre-paid and post-paid handsets. Customers living or travelling outside of metropolitan areas should consider a handset with Telstra's Blue Tick for recommended handheld use in regional and rural areas.". You can also keep the old CDMA handset but it will be useless as you will not be able to use it anywhere else due to lack of compatibility but it can make wonderful doorstop or paperweight.

The Next G network is by far the superior network compared to the (almost) dead CDMA network, with the main advantage being that it offers better coverage. Telstra has released a comparison table outlining all the advantages of Next G Vs CDMA, with a majority of the advantages not affecting many people but the top 10 reason are a definite plus and will be of some benefit to most customers. Check out the comparison for detailed information:


 

Next G™ network

CDMA network

1. More sites (towers)

> 6,000

3,480

2. Wider geographic coverage

> 2 million sq kms*

> 1.6 million sq kms*

3. More population coverage

98.9%*

98%*

4. Peak network speed

14.4 Mbps

2.4 Mbps

5. Typical User Download speeds

550 kbps - 3 Mbps

300 - 600 kbps

(using a 7 series device)

(1xEV-DO)

6. Peak upload speeds

1.9 Mbps

153 kbps

7. Wireless Broadband population coverage

98.90%

49%

8. Wireless Broadband geographic coverage

> 2 million sq kms

> 7,600 sq kms (EVDO)

9. International roaming access

170 countries

9 countries

10. Video calling

Yes (on most handsets)

No

11. Video messaging

Yes (on most handsets)

No

12. Mobile FOXTEL™

Yes

No

13. BigPond Mobile Music

Yes

No

14. BigPond TV

Yes

No

15. Sensis®search

Yes

No

16. Exclusive Mobile coverage of the NRL and AFL seasons, including full match replays

Yes

No

17. Whereis® maps

Yes

No

18. View weather maps and conditions on your mobile

Yes

No

19. View and pay your Telstra bills on your mobile

Yes

No

20. Will be available after early 2008

Yes

No


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