In the wake of Telstra announcing the decommissioning of its CDMA mobile phone network in favour of a UMTS one instead, speculation is mounting that Telecom too will do the same so as to secure roaming for customers in Australia.
Questions have arisen on whether Telecom would go ahead with the announced EV-DO Revision A network upgrade later this year. EV-DO Revision A offers faster data speeds, quality of service paramaters and built-in support for video calling, but requires new handsets and data cards for customers.
Going with UMTS, which is based on the GSM network technology that Vodafone uses, would give Telecom access to a greater range of handsets. Currently, Telecom sources CDMA handsets mainly through its US partner, Sprint.
However, Telecom chief operating officer Simon Moutter is disabusing the industry of the notion that a UMTS migration is on the cards. At a briefing in Sydney last week, Moutter assured analysts that Telecom remains committed to CDMA and the upcoming upgrade. Telecom has no plans currently to build a UMTS network, Moutter says.
Moutter says he is confident that if and when Telstra turns off the CDMA network in Australia, Telecom will have roaming options for its customers.
Telstra plans to shut down its CDMA network within three years.