Telstra’s text messages to customers, stating that the CDMA network will be closed on the 28th of January 2008 should be taken with a grain of salt, said the Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell today.
After meeting locals in Central Queensland today, Senator Boswell said that concerns had been raised with him regarding a text message appearing on many Telstra mobile phones in Central and Western Queensland which says that the company intends to close the CDMA network.
The widespread message also informs customers that their CDMA phones will no longer work after the 28th of January 2008.
“Telstra seem to believe that they are going to decide when the CDMA network will be switched off,” Senator Boswell said.
“However, they are not factoring in that a draft licence condition has recently been issued by the Minister for Communications, Senator Coonan.
“The draft licence condition, following the current consultation period, and subject to it being finalised, would mean Telstra would not be able to close their CDMA service until the Minister is satisfied that the Next G network provides the same or better coverage and services as CDMA.
“The Government is committed to ensuring that people who currently rely on the CDMA service, predominantly in regional and rural areas, don’t end up disadvantaged by the plan to change over to the new Next G service.
“Country people are largely satisfied with the CDMA services they receive, and if the changeover to newer technology is to proceed, the Coalition will do everything in our power to ensure that it occurs smoothly, and that the standards of service and coverage do not fall,” Senator Boswell said.
Senator Boswell said that the Coalition Government has directed the Australian Communications and Media Authority to audit the coverage of Next G in every state and the Northern Territory, and will be examining the availability and suitability of Next G handsets and equipment in comparison to the current CDMA service.
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