Tuesday 6 March 2012

Telstra hangs up on some Blackberries


Closure of Telstra’s higher-frequency 3G network is not running as smoothly as hoped, with some Blackberry users finding they may be caught short when Telstra stops offering 3G services at 2100 megahertz.

Customers may have to replace Blackberry devices if they purchased the handsets from another mobile company and then switched to Telstra. This is because Blackberry devices are tuned to the frequencies of each mobile carrier.

While Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all operate 3G networks at the 2100 megahertz (MHz) frequency today, Telstra will offer only 3G at 850 MHz when it exits a network sharing agreement in August.

Read more: http://best-blackberry-mobile-review.blogspot.in/

elstra has only sold phones tuned to the 850 MHz network since 2007, but still had about 170,000 devices using 2100 MHz in October 2010. It has been informing those customers still using the 2100 MHz network of the closure.

One business trapped by the network closure is Questas Corporate, which has 50 Blackberries purchased from Optus and later transferred to Telstra. Chief information officer Ferdinando Cosentino is angry that Telstra is reducing 3G services to one frequency but keep prices constant.

‘‘The real issue is that [the phones] will not ‘‘stop working’’, [but] they will slow down dramatically to 2.5G.

"Devices are two to three years old and we replace them only when they break down. We have a tech fund with Telstra that has sufficient funds to cover the purchase, however that money was supposed to cover future purchases and replacements of phones for years to come, instead it will be depleted significantly,’’ he told BusinessDay.

Buying new Blackberries tuned to NextG would cost $20,000, he added.

Mr Cosentino said returning to Optus was not possible because his business would have to break its three-year contract and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of associated benefits - such as free calls and credits. The Telstra represenative who convinced Questas to leave Optus said the phones would keep working.

‘‘One essential point that has been reiterated in meetings and in documentation produced is that there was never a need to replace our mobile fleet, since using 3G on 2100 MHz bandwidth we would have enjoyed the same or better coverage than Optus. Telstra indeed tried to sell the 850 MHz NextG network, but we elected to upgrade only those handsets requiring better coverage.’’

A Telstra spokeswoman said staff were trained to tell new customers about the upcoming change to network frequencies.

‘‘Unfortunately, in this instance, they don’t appear to have worked. Given this, we will work directly with the customer to agree a resolution ahead of the end of August network changes,’’ she said.

There may be more Telstra customers who find mobiles purchased from other companies no longer work at 3G speeds once the 3GIS agreement ends.

Telstra has been using 2100 MHz for 3G since it entered the 3GIS network sharing agreement with Hutchison 3 in 2004. Telstra then built its NextG network at 850 Mhz and plans to run all 3G services at this frequency while building its new 4G network at 1800 MHz.

Telstra and 3  - now part of Vodafone Hutchison Australia(VHA) - will split the 3GIS base station sites and spectrum between them once the agreement ends, and VHA will continue offering 3G services at 2100 MHz

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/telstra-hangs-up-on-some-blackberries-20120306-1uh9o.html#ixzz1oLYN4Zit
Raj Rajput  [  MBA ] 
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