Telecom will switch off its CDMA mobile network on 31 July 2012, the company confirmed today.
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The police are considering buying handheld or portable computers that could be used to track cars and officers and later to electronically fingerprint and photograph suspects stopped on the street.
Telecom mobile customers who have yet to make the switch to XT are unable to make or receive calls and texts from today when travelling in Australia and other countries that do not have CDMA networks.
The company last night turned off its ''WorldMode'' service, which let owners of some more expensive CDMA mobiles roam overseas on networks based on alternative mobile technology GSM, using a Sim card.
The dual-mode phones were introduced in 2006 as a stop-gap measure ahead of the launch of Telecom's XT mobile network in June last year.
Telecom spokeswoman Emma-Kate Greer said all but 3 percent of customers who used their mobile overseas had switched to XT.
Telecom had phoned and sent postcards to WorldMode customers to ensure they were not caught unawares, she said.
''In the past week, we have sent reminder messages to all customers currently roaming with the contact details for our roaming helpdesk for them to contact us. A further text message was sent [on Tuesday] to all roaming customers again to remind them of the cut off date.''
Telecom will axe its 3G CDMA mobile broadband service at the end of next month, meaning non-XT customers will notice a speed drop when using Telecom phones and datasticks to access the internet or download emails.
It plans to close its CDMA network completely in 2012.
2degrees chief executive Eric Hertz has forecast the changes will create an opportunity for rival network operators to pick up customers, given that not all remaining CDMA customers may switch to XT.
Telecom suffered yet another outage this week, with a small number of customers who use its ISDN service experiencing what Telecom describes as a “small, intermittent outage this morning from 8.30am to 10am."
Customers on Telecom’s legacy CDMA mobile network experienced major service disruptions this morning.
The problems started around 9am today, with the loss of 32 CDMA cell sites. These are located mainly in Auckland City and South, North Shore, Waitakere, as well Rodney District.
However, Northland cell sites were also affected, as were sites in Lower Hutt, Tasman District and Christchurch.
The outage on the CDMA network comes hard on the heels of two nationwide outages on the incumbent's new XT 3G service in December and January.