Vodafone's lousy coverage - WiFi + VoIP saves the day!

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 11-Jun-2007 21:50

I went over to Greytown for lunch yesterday. The food at the Main St Deli was sensational but Vodafone's coverage in Greytown is anything but. It's OK outdoors but inbuilding it's non existant.

Thank's to CafeNet and my VoIP enabled Nokia E65 my day was saved. I could connect to the CafeNet access point across the road at Greytown Computers and be connected with my Asterisk PBX here at home and was free to make calls - and avoid paying Vodafone! :-)

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Comment by Grant17, on 11-Jun-2007 22:16

Yeah, agreed.  It's great not to be reliant on Vodafone for mobile data.

I tried Mauricio's AirCard 595 at a couple of places around Auckland today.  At our house in Lynfield, we only get EVDO Rev.0 coverage, but even so -- it's pretty respectable:  1400k Down / 130k Up.

Skype works just fine at those data speeds, giving me 3c per minute calling to any NZ Landline.

Then I tried the card again in Penrose and got 1400k Down / 600k Up thanks to Rev.A coverage

This sort of performance really does equate to Mobile Broadband unlike the lame half-arsed attempt that Vodafone have to offer.

Author's note by sbiddle, on 12-Jun-2007 06:41

Skype is horrible. I love the concept of a big P2P network since that's effectively what makes the internet what it is but become a supernode and you'll live to hate it when it leaches all your bandwidth.

SIP is so much better being an open standard.

Comment by freitasm, on 12-Jun-2007 11:01

It will only become a supernode if your client is not behind a NAT-router, or firewall...


Comment by bcourtney, on 12-Jun-2007 13:09

Both my partner and I have troble with Vodafone coverage where we live in Hataitai. It appears that we are in a small pocket where the coverage comes and goes as it pleases. More often than not it is OK, but exactly when you need coverage it isn't there!

We definitely don't get 3G coverage that's for sure

I would say at least, on average, one day per week we have coverage issues.

Author's note by sbiddle, on 12-Jun-2007 13:52

Yeah Hataitai is a bit of a problem, I have a friend who gets no inbuilding coverage at all. The Vodafone site is on top of The Realm in Moxham Ave so it's very low down. GSM coverage is not too bad because it's one of only a couple Vodafone sites in the region that use omni aerials rather than panels but 3G being sectorised panels is terrible. There are two other sites that provide some secondary coverage (one next to Miramar cutting near the Wharf and one at Shelly Bay) but Vodafone need something else there due to the terrain.

Comment by Billythorn, on 15-Jun-2007 06:58

Have you guys tried OneFone from Wifimobile.com? I've tried that and a couple of other services, but onefone came up trumps for me. Not only do you have the wifi connection but it can connect through 3g too. And they've just released a press release about PBX connectivity, so sounds perfect for you! Bill

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Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com