Another technology bites the dust! At the end of this month Australia will close down the national CDMA network and all its remaining customers will need to move onto an alternate mobile platform. For many customers in remote regional Australia this means moving to the Telstra NextG mobile service, some kind of mobile satellite phone (yes there are options and more are coming and I can’t wait to tell you more on this!) OR sign up to one of the competing 3G/2.5G networks, however regional coverage is not strong and chances are not available.
CDMA was established in Australia to provide a national mobile network that was mostly targeted at regional customers. This was the chosen mobile network technology used at the phasing out of analogue mobile services at the end of the 1990s as digital services grew in penetration. As it did then, digital offered better call security, extra services like SMS and better call quality (I know some of you will argue about that one!). For the telco’s CDMA offered a cheaper, more efficient method to service large geographic areas, populated with fewer customers, requiring fewer base stations than alternative network options.
The CDMA network shutdown has been widely publicised, and has been coming for some time. Senator Conroy says –
“I am satisfied that Telstra has met the equivalence tests in its licence condition and has sufficiently rectified the problems I identified in January, including handheld handset coverage, customer information provision and the availability of equipment and services”.
So with the stroke of a pen and issue of a press release, we say RIP CDMA. If you live in regional Australia and are on the CDMA service you MUST move across to the newer mobile networks or stop using a mobile phone.