Today is the last day mobile phone users in regional Australia can use Telstra’s CDMA network. But many of the estimated 50,000 remaining CDMA users are not convinced that their new network is all its cracked up to be.
Telstra launched a last minute blitz to shift CDMA customers across to its Next G network over the weekend. But many mobile phone customers in rural areas have expressed concerns about the coverage offered by the Next G network. Queensland Nationals senator Ron Boswell claimed in The Australian that anecdotal evidence from his constituents suggest the Next G network is about 20% worse than CDMA.
Telstra was due to turn the CDMA network off in January, but Communications Minister Stephen Conroy delayed Telstra due to concerns about the Next G service. Conroy announced on 15 April that Telstra had met requirements to approve the closure of the CDMA network, including conditions around handheld handset coverage, customer information provision and the availability of equipment and services.
Telstra Country Wide director, Gary Goldsworthy, said in a statement that the CDMA network was a decade old and obsolete and claimed the Next G network carried 7.5 times the data carried on the CDMA network at its peak.