Trademe vs 2Tradeit

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 18-Aug-2006 18:31

I wonder if TM's lawyers see any similarities between the two sites?

Econet at it again

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 18-Aug-2006 18:00

So Econet are getting so desperate somebody supposedly travels 4000km (obviously the long way) around the North Island to take photos of cellsites due to their ongoing issues with Vodafone and access to shared sites.,com_d4j_ezine/task,read/page,1/category,5/article,545/Itemid,145/,com_d4j_ezine/task,read/page,1/category,5/article,554/Itemid,145/

When Econet actually have a *single* operational site of their own then maybe they could have an issue, but to moan about the competition when they are nothing other than a loud mouth is just crazy.

Business sense dictates that co-location is obviously very logical when the cost of building a mast can easily be $200000+ for a rural site. When you compare the different technologies and frequencies used in NZ however - CDMA 800, GSM 900 & 1800 and UMTS 2100 just because somebody has a site doesn't necessarily mean that it's the perfect location for a competitors gear. There are also other factors such as the design of many of the standalone masts used by Vodafone & Telecom in NZ which are incapable of supporting additional panels without significant modifications and RMA issues where consent in some cases has only been granted for 6 panels per site which is one of the reasons Vodafone swapped out GSM panels with UMTS ones on some sites. There have been some pretty significant fights between Telecom & Vodafone in the past when it came to co-location including large rental payments to ensure exclusive access to some rural properties to block the other but both companies have not benefited from sitting down and talking through the issues.

Econet simply want to bludge off Vodafone's & Telecom's infrastructure, lets hope the ComCom don't listen to all their crap.

Vodafone Sence of Humor

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 17-Aug-2006 21:01

For those of you who aren't aware if you want to sign up with Vodafone for a Monthly Plan on a "Personal" contract (ie non business) you now have no choice but to sign up for a minimum 12 month contract unless you want to sign up for Motormouth. Vodafone claim that the old GET plans are now end of life:

Why isn’t Vodafone supporting Get plans any more?

Get plans were introduced when making calls during “peak hours” were much more expensive. That was when mobiles were mainly used by business people. Now everyone uses mobiles all the time, so we don’t split calls into peak and off peak – and that means that our customers can use their mobiles when they want rather than when their plan dictates.  Newer, more flexible plans like You Choose make much better sense, give you much better value and allow you to make the most of NOW!

Isn't it ironic then that every voice addon for You Choose is Nights & Weekends only?

I would love to switch to a You Choose plan but unfortunately can't because I steadfastly refuse to enter into a 12 month contract just because Vodafone want me to. I've been a loyal customer for over 10 years now, certainly have no plans on migrating to another network becasue of the advantages GSM offers me and would actually be spending more per month on You Choose than what I do now and would have greater flexibility. . . I guess it's your loss Vodafone.

EDIT: Just one other thing - as mentioned elsewhere by other users You Choose has a policy where you can move your base plan up levels but cannot move down. This means that if you sign up on You Choose 100 you cannot move to You Choose 20 without paying a penalty. I'd receommend that anybody who may be believe they would ever need to move sign up on You Choose 20 and then upgrade your plan for the next billing cycle.

Great new Tui billboard in Dunners

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 11-Aug-2006 19:37

Telecom NZ to move call centres to The Phillipines

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 11-Aug-2006 10:45

NZ Herald mistakes yet again

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 29-Jul-2006 07:17

Can somebody with some knowledge please offer to become an IT/Business writer for The herald or at least offer some editorial advice to their current journos? I realise not everybody understands the geek world and mistakes do happen but these are now occuring way too frequently.'

"Woosh - whose chief executive Bob Smith resigned yesterday - said it had secured rights for more than 2.3 gigahertz of spectrum owned by Sky, which would enable the provision of internet television on its wireless network throughout the country."

For the record the spectrum Woosh have secured is in the 2.3GHz band. I believe sky owned around 10 or 15MHz of 2.3GHz spectrum therefore the story should say "10MHz of 2.3GHz spectrum owned by Sky"

Tex Edwards needs to get a life

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 28-Jul-2006 20:36

Tex Edwards seems to be taking every chance be can at present to point out what many of have known for years - that Vodafone own all of the 900MHz GSM spectrum in NZ. Funny how he didn't also point out that telecom own 100% of the 800MHz spectrum in NZ as well but maybe he didn't know that.

Around 1990 NZ decided to auction off 3 TACS bands (the analogue system used in the UK) and the 2nd AMPS band (Telecom already owned the AMPS A band). The TACS spectrum was available for GSM use and spectrum was purchased by Telecom Australia, Telecom NZ and BellSouth. Telecom also purchased the 2nd AMPS band however the commerce commission ruled this was anti competitive and they had to either give up the AMPS B band or their TACS spectrum and Telecom chose the TACS spectrum, possibly because of the influence of Bell Atlantic who did not believe the proposed GSM standard would ever take off and that the AMPS spectrum offered the best option. This 3rd TACS band was then retained by the Crown and remained unused. 

BellSouth then went on to build their GSM network while the other 2 TACS/GSM bands were unused until Vodafone formed an alliance with TelstraSaturn and proceeded to buy the Telstra 900MHz GSM spectrum, with commerce commission approval. Roll on 2002 and the Ministry of Economic Development were feeling happy with themselves after rolling in the big $$ in 2001 for their 2100MHz 3G spectrum so decided to sell the 900MHz spectrum because not a single other carrier was interested except for Vodafone.

Tex Edwards was obviously so heavily focussed on rolling out a 3G network because GSM was "old technology" that he didn't even lodge an objection with the commerce commission (neither did anybody else) over the sale and therefore the spectrum was sold to Vodafone which gave them 3x25MHz bands of spectrum and will potentially offer them an amazing opportunity in the coming years to roll out a 900MHz WCDMA/HSDPA network which will offer far greater coverage and capacity than a 2100MHz WCDMA network.

I only have one thing to say Tex - we're sick of your continual moaning. If you put as much effort into building a network over the past 5 years as you done talking about it and complaining about the regulatory environment in NZ then you could have stood a real chance of being a significant player in the mobile market in NZ. You need Vodafone and they don't care about you.

Bob Smith leaves Woosh

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 28-Jul-2006 15:00

Yet more dramas for the company.. Is this an attempt by the current owners (who you have to feel a bit sorry for continually bailing out a lame duck) to change the direction of the company with the purchase this week of a ADSL provider?

Bad webpage design

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 26-Jul-2006 11:31

I've got a Brother 1820C fax machine which has a dreaded "machine error 41 message"

Basically brother have built lots of faulty printers and faxes that bring this error up and a quick Google search shows this is a fairly large scale problem!

I've just tried to contact Brother NZ to see what they will do about it. Thanks but no thanks, I don't want to pay $1.99 per minute for an 0900 number.

Their other means of contact is a web form

This has to be the worst piece of web design anywhere. Only alphanumeric characters and numbers are permitted. This means you cannot use any non alphanumeric characters including simply full stops, commas or anything else that are common in English , . ' that is not an alphanumeric character. This resulted in me taking over 10 minutes submitting my enquiry until it would finally work since I tend to use punctuation in my writing and not try and write a letter in txt speak!

NZ Herald inaccuracies

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 25-Jul-2006 10:39

As a NZ Herald reader I am concerned about how quickly accurate reporting seems to have got in the way of a good story. Yet again today there are mistakes in an IT story, apparently Woosh now operate a WiMax network!

Come on guys, get your facts right..

sbiddle's profile

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