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Vodafone backs away from 2G advice

Vodafone has said that advice given by one of its employees to IT labour hire firm 3W joint CEO Bruce Mills that that he should switch his BlackBerry fleet to slower 2G services to avoid drop-outs was inaccurate.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor on

Vodafone has said that advice given by one of its employees to IT labour hire firm 3W joint CEO Bruce Mills that that he should switch his BlackBerry fleet to slower 2G services to avoid drop-outs was inaccurate.

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(Credit: Blackberry Bold, by edans, CC2.0)

Mills said yesterday on Twitter that he had just been told to switch the fleet over to the 2G networks to stop call drop-outs across the country. "Not a great solution," he tweeted.

Mike Casey, director of graduate recruitment company GradConnection, replied. "I have the same problem. Tempted to move."

When asked for further detail on the issue, Mills told ZDNet.com.au that his employees were constantly getting drop-outs on different models of Blackberry handset — Storm, Curve and Bold — in North Sydney, Redcliffe (Queensland) and also at the Microsoft Partner Conference on the Gold Coast last week. He maintained that many delegates he spoke to there were having the same problem.

"[The phones] do everything, email, Twitter, Facebook. Problem is they lack one feature, the ability to make reliable phone calls," he said.

He said he rang Vodafone Corporate Support to find out what was going on. "[I] got told they are upgrading the network over the last month and the upgrades are continuing. They suggested I switch all the phones to 2G," he said, adding that the Vodafone employee had told him they did the same for reliability.

A spokesperson for Vodafone said that the upgrade was definitely finished on 31 August, and that there were no planned disruptions to 2G or 3G services, so the advice wouldn't have been accurate.

"It's certainly not a message that we are communicating to customers," the spokesperson said. "VHA has carefully planned the Vodafone network upgrade to ensure a smooth transition to 3G services, with minimal disruption to customers."

The Vodafone spokesperson highlighted that to access Vodafone's 3G services in regional and metropolitan areas, customers needed a 3G 900MHz mobile.

Mills' BlackBerry devices are 2100Mhz compatible but not 900Mhz compatible, according to the Vodafone website. However, North Sydney, Redcliffe and the area of the Gold Coast where Microsoft's Conference was held are all covered by 2100MHz, according to Vodafone's coverage maps.

Last week, VHA also had an outage last week in Perth due to a 3G network fault which dogged the higher speed services but left those running on 2G unscathed.

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