Rants, Raves, Reviews

Telecom alternative to 'Vodafone at home'

By Gary R, in , posted: 12-Nov-2007 15:00

Ok I decided to comment on this one through my blog rather than getting 'lost' on the forum. These sorts of products are not new, we have been selling a range of Wireless Local Loop products (or fixed wireless terminals) for quite a while and we have installations on islands, boats, ferries, oil rigs, in trucks, on farms, plugged into PBX equipment, at bachs, etc, etc, etc.... In fact we have hundreds of installations.

All our devices feature standard TNC connectors for fitting an external antenna and batteries which last for days in stand by. We also support sending/recieving or fax, serial data at speeds at up to 153kbps and 5 REN for up to 5 extension phones. One model supports what is called modem-to-modem comms which allows a standard modem to be plugged into the RJ11 port which is for things like alram dialers, etc. Just like a landline you get a dial-tone before dialing.

The difference with our products is that they can be mobile, you are not locked into having to use it within a 'home cell' area. We entered this market over 2 years ago and we have many customers who have said 'goodbye' to a landline. One customer I spoke to a few months ago uses a large Yargi antenna on the side of the barn, he saved himself thousands by not having to run a landline 5km up his drive way.

Sure, Vodafone are being innovative with free national calling outbound but what does it cost to call a Vodafone customer on this service?

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Comment by grant_k, on 12-Nov-2007 15:41

"Sure, Vodafone are being innovative with free national calling outbound but what does it cost to call a Vodafone customer on this service?"

I'm a little unsure what you are driving at here Jama...

If you mean:

* Cost for inwards calls to a Vodafone at Home customer from a Telecom landline, then it would be a free call so long as the calling party is in the same LICA as the called party i.e. it is a local number in that specific LICA, just the same as any Telecom landline number


* Cost for a Vodafone at Home customer to call a Vodafone Mobile. In this case it is 39c per minute according to the press release. It is disappointing that this rate isn't a little lower. For example using VFX, I can call a Vodafone Mobile for 30c per minute and that includes a margin for WxC. It is hard to see why Vodafone couldn't at least equal that rate since the call is made entirely on their own network. Another example of the cosy duopoly at work?

So, depending on which scenario you are referring to, there are two very different answers.

There is a very obvious way that Telecom could completely nail this new initiative from Vodafone, given the superior coverage of their CDMA EV-DO network:

* Do away with all Toll Charges for National Calls originating from the boxes that you are selling in the same way that Vodafone have done today.

In my mind, THAT is the true innovation with today's announcement, not so much the Wireless Local Loop product, as you have rightly pointed out

Comment by sbiddle, on 12-Nov-2007 15:44

The only thing innovative about this service is the local PSTN number, something you can't get whether you use an existing CDMA or GSM mobile terminal.

It will be interesting to see what steps Vodafone are taking to either SIM lock these devices or tie the SIM to an IMEI to stop people moving the SIM to another device.

Comment by paradoxsm, on 12-Nov-2007 19:53

Ahh, Good old trunking units, I have many from the old Nautech prototypes based on Uniden hardware (portable pay phones, and ones off boats) to a recent Tellular.

I'm building a crappy GSM 5110 one to use as a "bestmate" GSM - PSTN bridge presently but it really is awful.

Put up the links for your products, I come across them from time to time and can say they work very well.

The vodafone units are would be pretty tightly locked down I can imagine and the fact they have a "Voicemail" indicator light makes me assume it's not quite just standard GSM as vodafone use SMS instead.

Of course there is IMEI changing and SIM hacks.

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