Telstra Next G has 'enormous problems': Coonan

Telstra Next G has 'enormous problems': Coonan

Summary: Despite Telstra's pledges that Next G network provides equal or better coverage than CDMA, federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan still foresees a delay to the switch off.


Despite Telstra's pledges that Next G network provides equal or better coverage than CDMA, federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan still foresees a delay to the switch off.

Telstra had planned to close the second generation CDMA network on 28 January 2008, after claiming its Next G network now has 25 percent more coverage.

Despite Telstra's promises, the Minister told ZDNet Australia "some extension" will likely be necessary to the planned switch-off date after her requests to Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo for a delay were turned down.

Coonan told ZDNet Australia that problems remain with Next G's performance.

"It's difficult to get enough information, people feel abandoned. There are enormous problems with handsets, people having to use car kits and so on ... we're still getting lots of dropouts."

"I'm very mindful people find CDMA reliable," she continued.

A Telstra spokesperson said that there are no plans to delay the closure of CDMA and the telco is "focused on the 28th". Telstra said that it expects the Minister to wait for the results of the ongoing review of the network.

Next G is currently being audited by contractors for the ACMA to see if it meets the government's standards. Coonan said the audit is set to take around 12 weeks and should be completed by the end of the year.

Once the results of the audit are in, the the Attorney General will decide whether Telstra can close down the network after the government took steps earlier this year to prevent the telco switching off CDMA without the Attorney General's permission.

With less than two months to the closure, Telstra has stepped up its efforts to persuade CDMA users to make the switch.

Last month, Telstra announced that customers moving from CDMA to Next G will be credited with AU$100 against their bill. Another scheme will see customers who agree to a three-year contract on Next G given a handset upgrade every 12 to 18 months.

Topics: Telcos, Government, Government AU, Mobility, Networking, Telstra

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  • I wonder why

    Working for ericsson on another project while NextG was being rolled out I must say that I was dismayed at the engineering approach by both Telstra and Ericsson.

    Don't blame the engineers though, they knew what needed to be done but were often suppressed. It was those greedy managers and their executives whose only skill was recounting their salaries. These people took a lot of shortcuts to reach their performance criteria - and in the end built a dodgy network.

    Too much money was being splashed about, and effective contracts were not available for scrutiny.

    Is this the outcome we deserve?
  • Some shocking news.

    Looks like the broom has come out of the cupboard.

    And it also looks like we have been victims.
  • Not an unfamiliar approach

    Same goes for support. Next G devices were pushed onto the market with limited testing in all areas - the drivers, the connection manager and the accounting system that supported it.

    As far as we could see - it was get them out there, sell them, clean up afterwards. A typical Telstra management scenario. Once they have that quarterly salary - why would they care?

    Working closely supporting these products, steer clear, and hope WIMAX is a better alternative.

    can some one ,even some one in telstra why telstra is
    changing to next G why not build on a good system like CDMA is has.
    telstra has told me its because CDMA is closing in the states but this is a lot of bullshit as theres a50-50CDMA and gsm networks and the fact that CDMA is twice as fast as GSM speeds.Seems to me that telstra is railroading our communication network so people will buy new phones.
  • CDMA Vs NextG Performance

    There is no doubt that NextG connectivity in the Silvan/Wandin Vic area is poor when compared to CDMA. Telstra representatives do look local farming groups in the face and make outrageous claims for NextG both as a telephone and a viable alternative as an Internet connection. Perhaps Telstra simply used the PaintShop Pro "fill" instruction on the coverage maps.
  • Its good enough

    Next G will get better, its done everything they promised so far anyway, i just wish telstra had cheaper plans... Next G's cool. The fone range is getting really good now 2.