Mainly mobile technology stuff

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.

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Comment by paradoxsm, on 3-Apr-2009 21:42

Vodafone released devices generally have quite a lot of device customisation and customised firmware and connectivity settings and from personal experience are not recommended if you with to explore switching providers after my experience trying to get a Vodafone device to work fully on Optus Australia.

Also, to those whom might purchase a device offshore or from Vodafone thinking it will work on the network as it looks the same should note:

Some models have varying submodels within the group or a totally different model number even though outside appearances are identical so be warned when purchasing a device intending to use it on the new Telecom network. The WCDMA bands are the important one, especially the 850MHz.

Here a couple of examples.
Vodafone's E71 device:
E71-1 RM-346 = GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA 900/2100

Telecom's E71 device (Guess, that's what it looks like in the shops):
E71-3 RM-407 = GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA 850/2100

Vodafone's 6121 device:
6121 RM-308 = GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA 900/2100

Telecom's 6120 device (Guess, that's what it looks like in the shops):
6120 RM-243 = GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA 850/2100

Currently very few (if any) Vodafone devices also have WCDMA850 bandsets required to operate on the Telecom WCDMA850 network.
Correct me if I'm wrong but all "3G" WCDMA2100 handsets should connect to the new Telecom network if 2100 coverage if available? not that's I'd reccomend it!

Comment by Gordy7, on 6-Apr-2009 08:23

So my Nokia N95 (not the 8GB model) with GSM850 and WCDMA2100 won't work on the new Telecom network I guess.


Comment by DJH, on 7-Apr-2009 21:46

I agree with paradoxsm.

I figure that if Telecom installs 850MHz UMTS everywhere, the 850MHz signals propagate to give very consistent coverage (as Vodafone 900MHz GSM does today), holes in the network will be filled in by 850Mhz UMTS. The more congested parts of the network will have 2100MHz UMTS also, for example in cities. Propagation of 2100MHz is more directional and will be blocked by some objects like hills, with bad coverage in narrow valleys.

On Telecom, if you use a phone like {the} N95 with quad band GSM and 2100MHz UMTS (with no 850MHz UMTS)you will only have coverage in cities and perhaps large towns. The coverage will be bad, dropped and missed calls will result because you will not be able to be passed off to 850MHz when you loose the 2100Mhz.

If you use the same N95 on Vodafone, you will get coverage on GSM 900/1800 when you leave the 2100MHz UMTS coverage area. So you should have country wide coverage with Vodafone (and not Telecom).

So if you want to choose a phone that you can use on both Vodafone, Telecom and also the third carrier NZ Communications, ensure it can do:

GSM 900 /1800

UMTS 850/ 2100

I caution you that there are phones with 850MHz UMTS and 1900 UMTS, with quad or triband GSM, they are produced for the North American market, they ought to provide adaquate coverage on Telecom (perhaps not so good in the city), but they will only give you 2G coverage on Vodafone.


Comment by Gaurav, on 14-Apr-2009 14:53

Gordy7 your phone will will work on the Telecom's new WCDMA network but only in the main centers like Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. No nationwide coverage.

Comment by heathm, on 29-Sep-2009 10:44

Hi @NealR,

I've been trawling through the forums here on Geekzone (and Googling etc) for a while now trying to find a definitive answer to this, and I'm hoping you can help me.

I've got a couple of Vodafone Huawei E800 data cards that support WCDMA850 (and 1900/2100, and quad-band EDGE/GSM)...
[ ]
They're unlocked, with the OEM Huawei firmware loaded so there's no Vodafone software screwing things up... and they work perfectly on a range of mobile service providers in Aus (Telstra NextG W850,  Virgin/Optus W2100) and here in NZ (VF W2100, 2degrees EGSM)...

So I got an XT prepay SIM card, and it works sweet in my unlocked Telstra NextG-branded ZTE MF636... but even with the same (correct) APN and authentication settings, when trying to use this XT prepay SIM in either of my Huawei E800 datacards, it registers with the network just fine, but when I try to connect (ie. initiate a PDP context) it gives me an authentication error 619.

Checking the IMEI numbers of both of these on the Telecom NZ Mobile website it says these devices won't work with the XT network (The TelecomNZ website claims these E800 devices support only GSM, no WCDMA, which is blatantly incorrect. :-S  They definitely support HSDPA7.2 and UMTS384 over WCDMA850/2100)

So my question is, does Telecom's provisioning/services layer have some restriction on what makes/models of datacards can initiate a PDP context to use mobile broadband?
Who could I contact in Telecom to remedy this please?  (I know, these aren't Telecom-supplied devices, so there's no real reason to help me other than I'm a potential customer who's currently a bit irked, and unable to use the prepay SIM card I've bought as a trial before considering post-paid plans.)

Thanks in advance for your help!

Author's note by NealR, on 29-Sep-2009 11:32

Check that CHAP is not selected as the authentication method. This maybe the problem. I cannot help you with identifying where this setting maybe found.


Comment by heathm, on 10-Mar-2010 12:25

Hi NealR,

Thanks for the response (sorry I took a while to come back).  The PAP/CHAP selection isn't the problem...  I've been running the XT prepay SIM in my Nokia E71 with same settings and it works fine (Bluetooth tethered), and a VodafoneNZ prepay SIM in each of those E800 data cards.

Now I've also got a Huawei E160 USB stick that supports WCDMA850/2100, and it too registers with the Telecom XT network fine, but gives me an error 619 when I hit 'Connect' to initiate a PDP context. 
(This hardware and same Huawei OEM software works fine on Telstra NextG in Aus also, on WCDMA850)

Also tried other third party software, and received same error.
Are all Huawei IMEI numbers blocked in the XT mobile services gateway?


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.

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