Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan has again warned that Telstra must not jeopardise CDMA coverage to customers in regional and rural areas as the telco prepares to switch off the network in favour of its third generation mobile network.
Coonan, in a statement released yesterday, announced a government-commissioned audit of Telstra's CDMA coverage was complete. The audit covered 100 sites, though there have been concerns it favoured the eastern seaboard.
A second audit monitoring Telstra's new network, Next G, will follow. The audits must show that Next G provides equal service for CDMA users before Telstra is allowed to switch off the old network next year, according to Coonan (right).
She said the government was mindful of Telstra ensuring a smooth transition to Next G for customers, particularly those in regional and rural areas.
"An independent audit comparing Next G coverage with CDMA coverage is a key part of verifying Telstra's public assurance that it will not shut down the CDMA network until Next G provides the same or better coverage and services."
Telstra's Next G network is already operating nationwide.
"Even if this assurance is met, Telstra has stated that the CDMA network will not be switched off before 28 January 2008," Coonan said.
The government has not committed to releasing the audit to the public, a spokesperson told ZDNet Australia today.