Telstra hearing alarm bells over CDMA?

Telstra hearing alarm bells over CDMA?

Summary: After years of discussions and months of government wrangling, it's finally time for Telstra to close down CDMA for good. So how will the telco go about switching off an entire network?

TOPICS: Telcos, CXO, Mobility, Telstra

After years of discussions and months of government wrangling, it's finally time for Telstra to close down CDMA for good. So how will the telco go about switching off an entire network?

Mike Wright is Telstra's wireless executive director and will be overseeing the shutdown of the network — the sixth such closure for Wright.

Telstra's switch-off will be headed up from the company's global operation centre, which will be charged with progressively closing the network as it hits midnight across Australia's states.

While Wright is unsurprisingly not expecting any problems, the telco is hoping it won't hear alarm bells ringing.

"We have to take care of all the interconnected systems — billing and activation, SMS, MMS, prepaid, content platforms, roaming — it all has to be done in a coordinated manner. We can't just kick the plug out of the wall. It has to be a controlled back-out, or we risk an avalanche of alarms," Wright told

The alarms were initially put in place as performance monitoring tools, ready to alert Telstra staff if any of the critical systems went down.

After midnight on 28 April, new calls and voice on the network will be prevented, while existing connections will be allowed to continue up to 1am. Triple zero calls started before midnight will be allowed to carry on til their completion.

But the shutdown process won't stop on 28 April — according to Wright, it will be a "number of months" til there is no more work to be done on dismantling the CDMA network.

After the initial closure, Telstra will work on cutting the residual power to the base stations. Once decommissioned, the CDMA base stations will be examined for potential reuse, resale or recycling. "We'll go through the process of recovering the hardware... we'll use a third-party for that," Wright said.

The base stations won't be the only thing being recycled as a result of the CDMA network going dark. The floor space, backhaul capacity and spectrum previously occupied by CDMA will likely find a new home as Telstra moves towards MIMO.

Closing down the network will also allow Telstra to recycle the cash that would have been originally spent keeping the network operational — electricity, air conditioning, maintenance and so on. Major savings aren't, however, expected to come from the IT infrastructure used to support CDMA.

"Most of the savings will come from the IT transformation program," Wright added.

Telstra has so far refused to put a figure on the number of users who have yet to make the switch from CDMA to Next G. "We've been monitoring the network traffic and it's down to a trickle," Wright said.

Topics: Telcos, CXO, Mobility, Telstra

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  • switch over CDMA

    I'm all for progress but its going to cost a lot of ppeople a new mobile & switch to 3g. I've got new 3gnetwork and it doesn't do what it says it does, 300kls from Perth we go and 4 kls out of the seaside town we go to and guess what 3gnetwork doesn't work, has a hell of a lot of black spots where it doesn't work. Travelling from Perth to our seaside holiday destination 300kls north, lots of black spots on the Brand H,way, then from Brand hway to Jurien Bay, then from Jurien Bay to Leeman no coverage why???????, then from Leeman to Geraldton on Brand Hway lots of places no coverage why??????. Doesn't do what the network says it does, its all a big con and getting more money out of the working man or women.
  • Make the call

    In response to the comment "switch over CDMA" from Anonymous, can I encourage the writer to take action if he/she has concerns with the Next G device purchased. It's no secret that some mobiles are better suited for people that live, work and travel in rural parts of Australia - this was the case with CDMA and is the case with Next G. Telstra has a dedicated support line - 1800 888 888 - to help customers that might not be receiving the same or better coverage on their Next G device as they had come to expect from CDMA. It's worth Anonymous giving this number a call.
  • Switch from CDMA

    Postal area 2440. As a longstanding user of (Telstra) CDMA I am appalled at the con which has been presented to us as improvement. The concept that some 3G phones work better than others offends fair trading practice, 3G is after all was presented as MOBILE coverage. My wife's 3G has less performance than my cdma clunker in our marginal area and I feel that less money spent on convincing us that 3G is great, and more on service and infrastructure, would have been of greater benefit to our national phone service. If a 3G customer was to go from a high density area to a more remote place after 18 months would Telstra 1) happily replace the inferior phone. 2) be exposed to court action because of the failure to perform when really needed. Could this be part of the deal? For 1) 'you should have checked it, so tough,' and for 2) 'see we told you that 3G did not perform well, so tough.'

    I purchased a samsung prepaid blue tick then promptly returned it to Telstras Bunbury Office for a refund,it was refused.The phone does not meet 3g connection ie all the little fancy stuff to wit I new it would not anyway as wireless connection to the internet is not available.Thus how is the phone supposed connect at a acceptable level just for a mere ph call.The answer is it fails to meet CDMA specifications and or 3g as well if one applies the EO/IO calibration standards,1bar or if lucky 2 still will not do what is claimed.In my view this a clear breach of the Sales Practices Act hence my reason for a refund .Consequently I reported the issue to my MP.Telstra sent a nice lady around and was helpful but it was quite obvious my connection to network from my residence was inpaired.Now get this bit she used my landline to phone Telstra not 3g mobile hehe and got the run around with them as well even though she stated clearly more than once she was the local advocate with a seamless line.This went on for an hour or so then I was given a another phone to try a Telsra one with a itty bitty antenna than pulls out lol it still recieves the same signal strength.Now a week has passed but wait the boffins are checking but were not happy with me being given a more expensive ph,in the interim I await a call from them on the issue.Black spots do exist and wish the staff at telstra offices new of them before selling the product.I might add a lot more went on during this visit but aware people do not accept 1 bar is sufficient as it is not if the the user has a weak link as well!
    Albeit both phs work when I move to higher ground but do fade out again in signal strength.Thus it follows when I travel along our interconnecting roads between hwys I shall be limbo.
    I will reiterate the advocate for Telstra was deserving and helpful as far she could anyway.