Telstra has denied that its decision to close down its CDMA network will affect the deaf and hard of hearing communities.
The CDMA network is scheduled to be switched off in January, by which time the telco says its Next G network will provide equal or better coverage. According to Telstra, there are now more subscribers on its 3G networks than CDMA -- around two million users in total.
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja raised a question in parliament this week on the impact of the CDMA switch-off on the deaf community.
"Has anyone considered the impact that the closure of the CDMA network, the transfer to digital, has had not just on regional Australia and others but on the deaf and the hearing impaired?" she said.
Concerns have been raised over how cochlear implants will function with the switch from CDMA to Next G and whether users will experience interference from the new network.
A Telstra spokesperson told ZDNet Australia today that there are expected to be no problems with the transition and the telco has examined the possible impact on interference. "Next G is a form of CDMA and so it will share the same attributes."
The spokesperson added that some deaf users prefer Next G and its video calling functionality as it allows them to use sign language over the mobile network.