Basil Cameron of Goonengerry is conducting his own personal mobile phone reception test by comparing his old CDMA mobile phone
Basil Cameron of Goonengerry is conducting his own personal mobile phone reception test by comparing his old CDMA mobile phone

Basil fears Next G towers coverage may be faulty ...

By Alex Easton alex.easton@northernstar.com.au TELSTRA will never convince Basil Cameron its Next G network will suit him better than its doomed CDMA network.

But the Goonengerry man said he’d settle for the telco giant simply proving a Next G phone could work as well as his trusty CDMA handset.

Telstra raised Mr Cameron’s hackles when it started telling people they’d have to switch networks fast or lose their phone number.

But he said his chief concern was that any Next G handset would be useless in the area around his home.

Mr Cameron has welcomed a delay in the axing of the CDMA network, which was announced last week by Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. The minister said Telstra had not yet convinced him the new service was as good as the old one. The delay offers the CDMA network a reprieve until about April.

Mr Cameron said he had just got a Next G handset from Telstra, which he planned to compare with his CDMA handset. He had selected 35 ‘marginal’ locations around Goonengerry, Coopers Creek, Federal, Eureka and between Eureka and Lismore, where he gets coverage on his CDMA phone.

He had tested each location by calling his home and leaving a message on his answering machine describing the location, the time of day and the weather conditions. The next step would be to go through the same process with his new Next G phone.

However, even if he could get clear messages through to his home phone, most of the new network’s features would be wasted in the bush.

“It’s really starting to annoy me,” he said. “Even if we get to the point where Next G can be said to be as good as CDMA, there’s still questions of why we have to go to it.

“Because of the enhanced applications, the video calls and rapid downloads, even if we can get it as good as CDMA we won’t get the speed or consistency of coverage for those enhanced functions; so we’re having to pay for a new $500 phone to get the same phone coverage as we had before.”

Telstra, at the request of Mr Conroy, has set up a 1800 number to answer questions about the new network and the axing of the old one.

Page MP Janelle Saffin welcomed the hotline. Her office had ‘fielded dozens of Next G complaints’. The ‘Next G Hotline’ number is 1800 888 888.



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