Same Same... But Different!

New Zealand Herald and Telstra CDMA

, posted: 24-Oct-2007 12:56

The New Zealand Herald claim that Telstra in Australia are about to completely switch to GSM, which is of course incorrect. Telstra are about to switch to WCDMA/UMTS (Next G), which in its self is a minor inaccuracy, as the general public will most likely still refer to such technology as GSM, despite older handsets being unoperatable with Telstra’s new mobile network.

But the bit that bugged me, is with the New Zealand Herald saying Telecom’s Samsung W531 Worldmode handset will operate on both CDMA (which it does) and Telstra’s new Next G (WCDMA) network (which it most certainly does not). The Samsung W531 operates on older GSM networks, which in Australia do not offer the same vastness of coverage that CDMA and Next G currently do.

Come on New Zealand Herald, get your facts straight, and stop misleading the New Zealand public, just for once!

Also as an interesting side note, no one seems to be picking up on the fact that the Australian Federal Government will not allow Telstra to close their CDMA network, until it is satisfied that Next G provides equal or better coverage than CDMA. Currently audits are underway to determine if this is the case, and they are expected to take 3 months to complete, a tight time frame with 100 days until Telstra plan to switch of CDMA.


More information

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Comment by mobygeek, on 24-Oct-2007 14:09

When Telstra changed from analogue to CDMA they were supposed to provide 'similar' coverage to analogue. It did not mean necessarily in the same places as before... Having said that, we sold a lot of CDMA phones to customers 'out back' (back of Wingham, anyway!). Equal or better coverage this time around for our old customers hopefully means they can still have coverage full-stop. Here's hoping?

Author's note by nzbnw, on 24-Oct-2007 14:23

I have used Next G and CDMA. Although I have only used a Next G data device, it performed very well. It enables me, to gain access to broadband, where I cannot get fixed line ADSL/2/+, and only just GSM/GPRS.

While I think Telstra have done the right thing in moving towards one network, it will be sad to see CDMA go, as it just works so well.

I will be going to Aussie in January, and should be one of the last roamers to use CDMA, although I get back 10 days before CDMA is scheduled to close .


Comment by dantheperson, on 25-Oct-2007 09:50

Where's the article link?

WCDMA/UMTS most certainly is a GSM standard.

Is HTML 4.0 still HTML? is HTTP 1.1 still HTML?

Author's note by nzbnw, on 25-Oct-2007 10:36

Click on more information. My point is the two (i.e GSM / WCDMA) are not compatible standards...

Comment by mobygeek, on 25-Oct-2007 10:51

I personally do not thinnk it will close that soon...

Comment by freitasm, on 25-Oct-2007 11:31

Telstra announced the closure is less than 100 days away now.

@dantheperson, WCDMA/UMTS is a GSM association standard, but it's certainly not GSM technology.

Comment by dantheperson, on 26-Oct-2007 10:55

I would argue technological standards set down by the GSM association are the definition of what is and isn't  GSM technology.

Of course the things have moved on since the original standard.  New incompatible features have been added all the time. Now 3G GSM (3GSM) uses a different air interface.

Is GPRS GSM? how about EDGE?  It uses a different modulation to the original GSM so is it still GSM? How about the enhanced full rate voice codec? Shall we declare a network that supports that not a GSM network? Why should the air interface be treated any different?  GSM WCDMA phones are just as backwards compatible with the older TDMA standard as EDGE phones are with the GPRS standard.

@nzbnw: " New Zealand Herald saying Telecom’s Samsung W531 Worldmode handset will operate on both CDMA (which it does) and Telstra’s new Next G (WCDMA) "  the article linked by the "more information" link doesn't say anything about the W531 at all, have they updated the article?

it says "worldmode" phones will work on "Telstra's new GSM technology.".  Which i interpret to mean they will work on the GSM network which is a new network in comparison to the main article topic, the old CDMA network.

"despite older handsets being unoperatable with Telstra’s new mobile network"
Isn't that due to the frequency rather than the technology?

If the W531 were a quad band gsm phone (it isn't) it would work on NextG right?  They haven't really built a new network that's not backward compatible have they?  That would make them reliant on the three network.

Author's note by nzbnw, on 26-Oct-2007 13:47

No, as I have already said, Telstra are operating an all 3G UMTS/ WCDMA network, NOT a GSM one.

The W531 does not have any UMTS bands, GSM only.

It is due to Technology, WCDMA/UMTS are not GSM.

If the W531 was quad band GSM it would still not work on Telstra’s UMTS 850Mhz network.

Comment by dantheperson, on 28-Oct-2007 01:58

Did the article get rewritten? The W531 should work on the other telstra GSM network (run by three) which is all the article seems to claim.

"The W531 does not have any UMTS bands, GSM only."
What do you mean by a "UTMS" bands? the frequency bands defined by GSM aren't seperated into UTMS "bands" and TDMA "bands".

Come on get for facts straight and stop misleading the public

The "Next G" handset range must be pretty limited if you want roaming. Not that many quad band 3G GSM phones at the mo, though getting better all the time. Even the latest GSM phones seem to drop support for 850Mhz if they are the slimmer models.

A 3G GSM (3GSM) phone uses W-CDMA/UMTS, so how can you say the Next G network isn't GSM? Does telstras network have some incompatibility with the GSM stack of standards i am missing? Just backward compatibility with 2G phones?

Author's note by nzbnw, on 28-Oct-2007 12:34

Next G is WCDMA/UMTS and operates on the 850Mhz band, this is different to the 850Mhz GSM band. The Samsung W531 has 900Mhz GSM, not 850Mhz of any kind. In other words the W531 is dual CDMA/GSM device, it is not a 3G phone.


Author's note by nzbnw, on 28-Oct-2007 12:36

Yes, it seems the article has been reworded which is great, but this statement is still miss leading.

nzherald: These work on Telecom's CDMA as well as Telstra's new GSM technology.

It would need to be a CDMA / UMTS device to work on Telstra's 850Mhz WCDMA network, with an 850Mhz UMTS/WCDMA band.


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