Mainly mobile technology stuff

Mobile Technology Seminar - Auckland

, posted: 16-Jun-2010 15:34

Due to popular demand we are bringing this Technology Seminar to Auckland
Ever wondered how your Mobile phone works?
Anyone is invited to join this technology seminar. (even @stevebiddle & @johnr)Tongue out
Come and hear an overview of the in’s and out’s of a mobile network.
Become an expert in your own back yard.

We’ll answer questions like;
   What is Quad Band?
   Why doesn’t my phone work on all networks?
   What are all those terms?
      incl GSM, GPRS, WCDMA, UMTS, HSPA.
   Why don’t I get maximum data speeds?
   What does it take to send a Text message or make a phone call?

When:         5:15pm, Tuesday 29 June
Where:        Customer Briefing Centre, Reception
                  Telecom House, 8 Hereford St
Approx 90 minutes.
Arrive early as seating is limited.
This seminar is open to any member of the public.
Note 1: This seminar is non network specific and is not a marketing/sales presentation.
Note 2: We won’t be answering questions about pricing, product availability, or regulation. Sealed
Brought to you by @nealrich & @akianz


Technology Seminar - open invitation (date change)

, posted: 24-May-2010 14:46

Technology Seminar
Ever wondered how your Mobile phone works?
Anyone is invited to join this technology seminar. (even @stevebiddle & @johnr)Tongue out
Come and hear an overview of the in’s and out’s of a mobile network.
Become an expert in your own back yard.

We’ll answer questions like;
   What is Quad Band?
   Why doesn’t my phone work on all networks?
   What are all those terms?
      incl GSM, GPRS, WCDMA, UMTS, HSPA.
   Why don’t I get maximum data speeds?
   What does it take to send a Text message or make a phone call?

When:         5:15pm, Tuesday 15 June
Where:        Customer Briefing Centre, Reception (Level 2, Unit 2)
                  Telecom Centre, 49-55 Tory Street,
Approx 90 minutes.
Arrive early as seating is limited.
Note 1: This seminar is non network specific and is not a marketing/sales presentation.
Note 2: We won’t be answering questions about pricing, product availability, or regulation. Sealed
Brought to you by @nealrich & @akianz


No one listens to me

, posted: 15-Oct-2009 12:33

For considerable time I have been complaining about how a number of senior executives have not been responding to my insightful, thought provoking and business changing ideas. On a number of occasions I have gone out on a limb to contact someone senior to express an issue I have seen that I think should be addressed.

It takes courage to write to someone senior when you have no context or knowledge on how they will respond. Will they forward my idea to my boss with the note "who is this fool", or will I simply be ignored because I am at the wrong level of the organisation to be giving advice.  These are my fears.

And then today as I spend time attempting to reach that nirvana known as "inbox zero" I came across a couple of emails from a junior engineer highlighting something they had found on the Internet that I may be interested in. I had not replied to these emails. They had been opened and were sitting in the pile of things "I was going to get back to".

OMG, I had become the senior person that was not responding to emails from junior staff. What had I become. I was just as guilty of not responding as the same senior executives I had been ranting about to my colleagues.

It was not that I did not intend to respond, as these messages were still in the "to do' pile, it was that I had not prioritised these above other work.

I should have realised that to the person sending the email this was an important issue that they thought would be of value to me. This is the exact behaviour I wanted others to see that I was expressing.

Today, I know I have disappointed people
Today, I want to appologise
Today, I want those people know I plan to make a bigger effort
Today, I am more accepting of other peoples failings
Today, I am human.

September 24 1985

, posted: 24-Sep-2009 13:38

Here is a little story I wrote today for my colleagues that some of you maybe interested in.

It was 24 years ago today that I walked into the Hamilton East Telephone Exchange to start my journey of discovery into the Telecommunications industry. The noisy background of this electromechanical environment was a shock for a 19 year old recent university dropout. My official title was Trainee Telephone Technician, my job was to make the tea, run cable jumpers on the main distribution frame to connect new customers (and disconnect customers who did not pay their bill) and fix the Senior Technicians lawn mower.

6-9 months later I was transferred as part of trainee rotation to the main Hamilton Telephone exchange in Caro St. One of my most memorable experiences was witnessing the incredible dedication, that still lives today, of the technical staff of this company as they dealt with NZ largest natural disaster in living memory. The 1987 Whakatane earthquake. 

Oh, and in 1987 Telecom was born.

After a period installing PABX's, sometime in 1988 I started a 10 year education in Wide Area Networking. This started with installation and maintenance of analogue data systems for customers. My favourites were Huntly Coal mines and the Mangakino power station. This technology evolved to Digital Data Services (DDS) the forerunner of the Digital Services Transmission Network (DSTN) that still lives, just, today.

Remote working (via dialup) became a big part of my life when I joined the Network Management Centre (aka NCC aka NOC) after the most gruelling 90 minute interview of my life. I was one of the first to get a dedicated desk top personal computer with an IBM PS2 Model30. Running MSDOS3.1 and Windows 2.0 with 64K memory and 30Megsabytes of hard drive space was cutting edge. Sometime around 1990/1991 I got my first Mobile phone. It came in a suitcase with a curly cord.

Being responsible for the 24/7 operation and availability of the DSTN became an intense period as the role involved Unix/OS support as well as application and user support for the management platforms let alone being the management centres SME for this technology. Resetting passwords for shift workers at 3am was not uncommon aside from the usual OS/application maintenance stuff or the regular microwave, cable and fibre outages affecting this service. Service management was a big part of our lives where minimising customer impact was our greatest focus, above fault resolution.

1994 was were I started my international globetrotting with a month long trip to Milan, Italy, to scope a replacement for the management systems used to support the DSTN. Somewhere here I got my first laptop priced at around $14K. A year later I had two more trips to Milan for a total of nine weeks. Those who have been involved with software development and testing will appreciate the phrase "stessa merda giorno diversa". July 1995 saw me seconded to Wellington for "3-6months" (I'm still here) to lead the technical delivery of this project where I was responsible for system deployment, network design, functionality and user testing, database conversion (3 databases into 1), user training and final acceptance.

During '94 & 95 there was considerable industrial action which resulted in most of the staff at the time going on strike. A very stressful time for some parts of NZ with aggressive picket lines and blockades of various buildings. The administration manager of the NOC brought in several boxes of Watties Baked Beans in case those of us "scabs" working got stranded inside the building. Lucky for everyone the Hamilton picketers were not in anyway aggressive, to the point that they actually entered the building to get the tea trolley at morning tea time. Luck for them as my American Football team offered to cross any picket lines to ensure that I did not miss out on lunch.

Back in Wellington the next four years involved a number of Operational Support System (OSS) design and network deployments including multimillion dollar contract negotiations for a number of technologies including; Frame Relay, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and IP Core MPLS network. Somewhere in this time I became a Project Manager including Project Management Institute (PMI) training, but don't tell anyone:)

November 1999 gave me the opportunity to skip out on the farce that was Y2K and join the CDMA Mobile network deployment project. My job was to manage the delivery of all things Data related, including WAP Gateways and Online Portals not to mention the various Lucent technologies.

The last nine years have been a blur of all things Mobile where I have been involved in product development, network support, corporate sales, technology strategy, bespoke customer application development, international conference presenter, solution design, customer support, technology deployment/implementation, media relations, TUANZ presenter, vendor negotiation, guest university lecturer, author of international standards and lots of other stuff that escapes me right now.

What have I learnt on this journey;
    logos and brand names come and go
    restructures happen
    executives come and go
    no one is indispensable
    it's the people that make the process work
    you need to be a master of your own destiny
    knowledge is power only if you share it
    the value of institutional knowledge is not understood
    the company will not fail because the frontline staff and engine room guys & gals won't let it
    you can make a bigger difference that you can imagine
    it's the relationships you build (and mend) that make the biggest difference

Have I ever wanted to work somewhere else - yes
Do I regularly have offers to work overseas for larger companies, more money, or both - yes
Do I get as frustrated as hell - yes

Why do I stay, simple, because I really really enjoy what I do, I get to do lots of different things, the people I get to work with are amazing and I get to be part of making a difference to the lives of New Zealanders.

So enjoy your day, thanks for taking the time to read this and know you make a difference.

How to access T-World from your iPhone

, posted: 9-Sep-2009 15:32

Here are some simple instructions on how to access T-World on your XT connected iPhone.

Remember you can only access T-World if you are connected to the XT Network

Using Safari browse to

This should present you with a log in screen

Select “Send New Password”

This will open up a new “page” for you to get a password sent to your mobile as a text message

 Once you’ve filled in the details and selected "Get Mobile Password", you’ll be sent a text message with a temporary password.


Return to the original Safari Page and enter your phone number and the temporary password.

You will now be redirected to the T-World front page


Now you can select “Your Telecom” to view your account details.

You can set a permanent password by using the link at the bottom of the page "Manage Password"

XT Network SIM PIN's & PUKs

, posted: 8-Jul-2009 13:57

The XT Network SIM cards have two levels of access each with their own Personal Identification Number (PIN). When you get these PIN's wrong too many times you then require to use the PIN Unlock Key (PUK) to reset the SIM.

If you get your PIN1 wrong 3 times you then need PUK1 to unlock the SIM. If you get PUK1 wrong 10 times then your SIM becomes "PUKed" and needs to be replaced. These retries are the same for PIN2 and PUK2.

PIN2 is primarily used to access and control functions such as Fixed Dialling numbers.

PIN1 Default - 1234
PIN2 Default - 1234
PUK1 - printed on the SIM card that your SIM was attached to. Also available by calling Telecom.
PUK2 - Available by calling Telecom customer care.

Users are able to change both PIN1 & PIN2. PUK's are unique to a SIM card but cannot be changed.

XT Network WAP & MMS Settings

, posted: 14-May-2009 13:35

Here are the XT Network device settings for WAP & MMS

Access Point Name (APN): (aka TelecomContent)
Data Bearer: Packet Data
User Name: (leave blank)
Home Page: http://myhomepage
Proxy IP Address:
Proxy Port: 80
Proxy Secure Port: 8080

MMS settings are the same as those above EXCEPT the Home Page is changed to

For PDA devices;
Access Point Name (APN): (aka TelecomContent) or (aka TelecomData)
Data Bearer: Packet Data
User Name: (leave blank)
Home Page:

Telecom XT Network Access Point Name (APN) Information

, posted: 28-Apr-2009 12:36

UPDATED 01 May 2014

This page is no longer maintained.

Information relating to IP addresses used on the Telecom Mobile Network can be found here:

TelecomNZ New WCDMA 850 Network

, posted: 3-Apr-2009 13:57

Here are some facts about the new Telecom WCMDA network.

The new network will have WCDMA850 technology across the whole of it's coverage. This coverage is comparible with the existing CDMA network which covers 97% of the New Zealand population. Some metro areas will have both WCDMA850 and WCDMA2100. WCDMA850 will be available everywhere.

Telecom have no plans to SIM lock phones they sell. SIM Lock means that only a particular carriers SIM card will work in a handset. Telecom will not be doing this.

Some Vodafone handsets will work on the Telecom WCDMA network as long as the Vodafone handset has WCDMA850 as one of the frequency options. A Telecom SIM is required to connect to the Telecom WCDMA network. The user will need to change some handset settings to enable the various data services to work on a non Telecom sourced device. Some media services may not be available due to handset limitations.

WorldMode SIM will not be able to access the Telecom WCDMA network. WorldMode SIMs are not able to access New Zealand networks.

WorldMode devices are not compatible with the Telecom WCDMA 850 network, this is a device limitaiton. None of the Telecom WorldMode handsets are compatible with the new Telecom WCDMA 850 network. This includes the BlackBerry8830, Samsung351, Samsungi325 etc. None of these handsts will work on the new network.

The commercial agreement between TelecomNZ and TelstraClear does not enable TelstraClear to resell WCDMA connections. TelstraClear customers are still able to port their number to Telecom, becomes a Telecom customer and have access to the Telecom WCDMA network.


, posted: 3-Apr-2009 13:45

Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is one of the third-generation (3G) cell phone technologies. The most common form of UMTS uses Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) as the underlying air interface.

High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) is a collection of mobile telephony protocol that extend and improve the performance of existing UMTS protocols. Three standards, HSDPA, HSUPA and HSPA+ have been established.

High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) deployments support peak downlink speeds of 1.2, 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.4 Mbps. Each data speed is defined as a Category within HSDPA.

High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) deployment support peak uplink speeds up to 5.76 Mbps. Also uses Categories to describe the various evolutions within HSUPA
HSPA+ (also known as: HSPA Evolution & Evolved HSPA) provides data rates up to 42 Mbps on the downlink and 22 Mbps on the uplink. Most common mechanism for increasing data rates is MIMO, a smart antenna technology.

LTE Long Term Evolution  next version


HSDPA Categories
Category 1    1.2 Mbit/s
Category 2    1.2 Mbit/s
Category 3    1.8 Mbit/s
Category 4    1.8 Mbit/s
Category 5    3.6 Mbit/s
Category 6    3.6 Mbit/s
Category 7    7.2 Mbit/s
Category 8    7.2 Mbit/s
Category 9    10.2 Mbit/s
Category 10    14.4 Mbit/s

HSUPA Categories
Category 1    0.73 Mbit/s
Category 2    1.46 Mbit/s
Category 3    1.46 Mbit/s
Category 4    2.93 Mbit/s
Category 5    2.00 Mbit/s
Category 6    5.76 Mbit/s
Category 7     11.5 Mbit/s

Technology Standards Evolution
(2G)          GSM
(2.5G)        GPRS
(2.75G)      EDGE
(3G)         UMTS
LTE (4G)   

It is worth noting that a number of 3G devices are WCDMA Rel99. This means that either their Uplink or both Uplink and Downlink is constrained to either 384kbps or even worse 128kbps.

NealR's profile

Neal Richardson
New Zealand

Firstly, I am a engineer. I am not from marketing, sales or public relations. Feel free to correct me if I have got anything technically incorrect.
This blog is a place for me to put technical stuff about mobile networks that I feel may be of interest.

Favorite Question from 3rd form (year8) Science Test:
If it takes three days for a bald headed red herring to swim through a barrel of tar then how long is a piece of string?

Twitterid: nealrich