Telstra sends Next G evangelists to the bush

Telstra sends Next G evangelists to the bush

Summary: In an effort to persuade lingering CDMA users to switch to Next G, Telstra has enlisted the help of "coverage advocates" to spread the word across Australia.

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In an effort to persuade lingering CDMA users to switch to Next G, Telstra has enlisted the help of "coverage advocates" to spread the word across Australia.

The 57 "advocates" will be charged with contacting CDMA laggards and advising then on the most appropriate Next G handsets and other equipment to enable them to make the switch to Telstra's third generation network.

According to the telco, the 57 will be available to call on users in their homes. Telstra is hoping the visits will prove popular with farmers "who may find it difficult to get into town".

The National Farmers' Federation has repeatedly objected to the closure of the CDMA network in favour of Next G. A survey of 1,200 farmers carried out by the NFF last week found that 71 percent believed CDMA to be more reliable than Next G and 23 percent said they had yet to make the switch to the 3G network.

Telstra said two advocates will be placed in the Northern Territory, six in Victoria, 17 in New South Wales/ACT, three in Tasmania, 16 in Queensland and seven in Western Australia.

A Telstra spokesperson said that the 57 advocates are a mixture of Telstra Country Wide staff and new recruits.

"They are like local experts within their zones -- if they go and see a farmer they know the area already," the spokesperson said. Telstra expects the advocates to fix up problems such as incorrect settings, checking SIM cards as well as demonstrating Next G devices.

"There are some customers who don't like change. They need someone to show them the facts. [The advocates] can hop in the ute, drive around the property and use three, four, five different phones, maybe show the Country Phone. This is one way to dispel some of the myths out there about Next G," the spokesperson said.

Telstra had originally planned to close its CDMA network on 28 January. The switchoff has now been delayed until at least 28 April, following a mandate by Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy.

Following an audit conducted by ACMA, Conroy declared that, although the CDMA and Next G networks had equivalent coverage, handset and other issues remained with the 3G network which necessitated a delay to the closure of CDMA.

Topics: Telcos, Government AU, Telstra

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11 comments
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  • Honesty and Truth.

    Jo while I enjoy your journalistic pronouncements I still wonder why you persist to slant all your articles with an anti Telstra bias.

    Your headline "Telstra sends Next G evangelists to the bush" is concerning. Jo why not be factual. Why not say Telstra sends experts to the bush. Your put down is obvious.

    Then again perhaps I misjudge you as a dictionary search shows the meaning of "evangelist" to be " a preacher who brings truth to a heathen country".
    anonymous
  • Bob

    Sydney you are showing your ignorance of the IT industry here. Microsoft have evangelists, Sun have evangelists... They are there to evangelise about their products....

    It may be a wanky term but its a well used one and descibes what Telstra are doing.

    I might add as well it seems a smart move by Telstra and it has been accurately reported by Jo.

    I think perhaps you are showing your bias by looking for negatives in a postive piece about the company in which you hold stock.
    anonymous
  • Finally a break for the country folk

    Call it evangelism, spin doctorism, or even by accident call it customer care.

    Better late than never.

    City folk will also benefit by the addressing of these issues next time they make a visit to the country.
    anonymous
  • Telstra Next G evangelists

    I suppose its cheaper to convice users that they have a satisfactory system than to actually provide one.
    anonymous
  • At least they are trying

    Unlike every other company that has the money and the capabilities Telstra is the only one that has done anything beyond a few media releases and trying to resell someone else's network, the same network that you all claim is unsatisfactory.
    anonymous
  • CDMA = COVERAGE NEXTG = EXPENSIVE BRICK

    CDMA = COVERAGE NEXTG = EXPENSIVE BRICK

    Thats how it works out here... Just bought a brand new nextg phone.. told what i can only assume to be the usual spin.. and i gave in..

    More than 20 minutes away from my property.. no service from nextg.. cdma.. still going strong..

    Try explaining that to the weekly calls from telstra sales trying to persuade me to switch me to nextg internet...

    If my new nextg phone doesnt work here.. how is the internet supposed too??
    anonymous
  • CDMA

    In my job I speak to people on mobiles all over the country, often in mines and regional trucking routes. Many people complain to me offhand about the 3G coverage. I think Telstra is onto a good thing with it, but it has a ways to come and it is good that is has been held up.
    anonymous
  • Wireless internet

    Wireless internet will work well, even on one bar.
    I'm a subby that installs this gear and the other day I managed 115kb/s on less than 1 bar.
    Thats all the out side antenna was pulling in.
    If you are carfull enough and get elevated as high as your roof you will find signal. Some times it is at gutter hight.
    BUT away from trees or through a gap in the trees.
    If you find out where your local Mobile tower is and go that side of the house in an elevated position or with a magnetic car antenna of 3dB plus connected to you country certified Next-G mobile Ph you will find signal if you could get it down the road.
    Some locations you can get it from 3 or 4 different directions.
    All you have to do if you don't want to go tothat trouble is go Phone Big Pond 133933 and they will organise a tech to survey signal or just for $199 a tech from Telstra or bigpond will install including travel, a new black Yagi Antenna (installed much like a TV antenna). If an install is done by non Telstra tech it will cost you more plus travel and he WON'T be profesionaly trained with a (meter phone).
    If you know that there is signal neer by it will do both Mobile and Mobile for BigPond internet and a modem for Next-G BigPond internet.
    anonymous
  • Next G

    I live 18 KM from the GPO and am considered rural, which puts me at a great disadvantage as far as Telstra is concerned. I have done the right thing and bought a new Next G phone which does not work! Telstra periodically rings me to tell me that I can now receive Broadband internet and when I agree to sign up, they ring me back a week later to tell me that I can't get Broadband!

    I have lost count of the number of times that I have been to my local Telstra outlet, over the last 3 years but no one is interested in trying to correct the problem. I am not the only person that lives in this 18 KM radius from the GPO. We are all totally fustrated with Telstra and if we can find an ISP carried that wants to take on a growing community and provide a service. Then you will have many interested clients. Because Telstra is not interested in providing a service. Therefore, you would have no opposition.

    Telstra REALLY does not care about farmers, they are only interested in their shareholders!

    So for all you other providers out there come to Maryborough Qld and areas west in Woocoo shire. Because we are sick of being treated like second class citizens.
    anonymous
  • I am happy to come out

    Can you arrange for a big fat handout from the government to help me invest in your area.
    anonymous
  • NO Coverage

    I recently purchased a Samsung 3g mobile phone from TELSTRA SHOP JOONDALUP (telible service). Where I was told that I would have countrage coverage.
    My trip: Gingin - coverage, Cliff heads - No coverage, Coronation Beach - No Coverage, Bush Bay - No Coverage, Galena Bridge - No Coverage.
    SO NEXT G COVERAGE - STOP THE B*****T ON ADVERTISING OF NATION WIDE COVERAGE... YOUR BETTER OFF SENDING SMOKE SIGNALS.
    anonymous