Our Geekzone forums have been very busy this week with reports of 2degrees making their new 3G network available for public use throughout New Zealand the last week or so. 2degrees is New Zealand's third mobile operator, with its own mobile network in the main centres and elsewhere using Vodafone New Zealand's network.
Today I met with 2degrees and was briefed in what's happening. This is the summary:
3G network is lit in most places, for testing. Their own technicians have been around the country doing their tests but they wanted more accurate usage patterns to start - so they have it running.
For example Wellington CBD was lit yesterday and they noticed 13% of the connections automatically switching to 3G. This is interesting because they currently don't sell 3G handsets.
The sad part is... 2degrees will be locking it down from end of next week. And we don't have a date for when the service goes live.
Their 3G network is paired with their current 2G network (meaning where you have a 2G site there will be a 3G site). Obviously different loads will make coverage different.
The 3G network is available in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, covering 48% of the population. Other areas, as we know is going to be covered by a roaming agreement with Vodafone.
There are plans in progress for additional network coverage, with Hamilton and Tauranga town planning in progress. Due to resource consent times and 3G release this won't happen until next year though.
No commercial details are available - plans, packs, national roaming.
New 3G handsets will come out (surprise) and Android devices. Micro SIM will be available "soon".
I was given a Huawei USB modem with a SIM card to test, but it will stop working when the network is locked again next week.
And that's all I have to say - nothing else was disclosed.
John Cleese explains the difference between those two sports, in an excerpt from The Art of Football...
For example 83% of European households have a mobile handsets, but only 56% access the Internet regularly. Also 33% of European citizens have no Internet access (which I assume refers to landline Internet connections).
So what's the solution? "[Vodafone] have the potential to deliver the digital revolution to 500 million European citizens".
The interesting thing here is that Europe is probably the second biggest battleground (after China and India) in the mobile competition. Vodafone is up against O2, T-Mobile, Telefonica of Spain, all fighting for a share of those 500,000,000 customers.
What I would like to see though is what is Vodafone New Zealand's take on this aspect? Competition here is not as strong as in Europe. Does it make it less likely we could see such initiatives, or see price drops coming from the local operators?
Any insight you want to share in comments?
A friend of mine sent an email asking to point my readers to a survey on SMB purchasing habits. If you could answer that, it should take only a couple of minutes...
"... We have reason to believe that SMB owners/decision-makers act much more like consumers in their choice of the online information resources that subsequently affect their purchasing decisions. Further, we want to expose important new insights into how SMBs' habits differ from those of general consumers, defining and understanding them better. The expected outcome is to help ourselves, our clients and you create more effective marketing campaigns targeted at SMBs, and also to boost your value as a blogger by providing evidence of your influence on this critical segment. "
They are aiming for a minimum of 400 complete responses. And respondents fully completing the survey and providing a valid email address will be eligible for a prize. Seeing they expect to close the survey at 400 complete entries, there's a good chance to win something.
The prizes are:
1. Grand prize: One Lenovo A70z all-in-one PC
2. Second prize: Five prize packages, each containing one of each of the following three devices:
o One LG Bluetooth headset (HBM-210)
o One LG Bluetooth stereo headset (HBS-250)
o One LG Bluetooth Solar Car Kit & Emergency Charger (HFB-500)
I am told email addresses will only be used to contact eligible winners and WILL NOT be retained once prize selection has occurred. Contact data will not be shared, neither any respondent will be contacted as a result of this survey.
The link for the survey is http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SMB_purchase_decision-making. Have in mind this is a U.S.-based survey when answering any questions regarding money (which are optional anyway).
Prizes are valid worldwide... Good luck!
Earlier today I was informed by ICONZ that our IPv6 addresses have been added to their firewall and routing configuration.
I have now added DNS information that allow users to visit Geekzone through an IPv6 connection. We decided to keep it simple and continue to use the current www.geekzone.co.nz URL for both IPv4 and IPv6 connections.
If you visit Geekzone through an IPv6 connection (native or tunnel) then you should see this logo:
If you want to make sure your connection can "see" our server, visit http://ipv6.geekzone.co.nz/ and the default page will show your IPv6 address. The ipv6.geekzone.co.nz test server does not accept connections from IPv4 addresses and it's only a test page.
Also note, this is probably one of the first New Zealand sites in the top online properties to go IPv6.
One of the best geek jokes I've seen...
Today we found out Telecom New Zealand settled in a misleading broadband advertising case. This paragraph caught my eye:
"Telecom has also agreed to pay $75,000 to Consumer New Zealand Inc to assist in the funding of a telecommunications Price Comparison Project which is intended to provide an internet-based tool for consumers to compare the prices of different telecommunications products."
Wow! $75,000 is a lot of money.
Telecom, may I suggest instead you hand this money (or a good chunk of it) to James (Geekzone manhinli, Twitter @manhinli) a student who single-handledly (ok, with the help of a few other Geekzone users I know) has created New Zealand connections, a website that is (using your own words, Telecom) an internet-based tool for consumers to compare the prices of different telecommunications products.
I suspect he would be more than happy with some of this money, plus perhaps some hosting in a good datacentre, and links from your main corporate site. He could even spend more time in improving the awesome New Zealand Broadband Plan Finder page with all this.
Telecom, do the right thing. Consumer New Zealand is good, but there's someone out there who would do much better. I know. And you would be giving a young developer well deserved recognition.
PS. I have the impression Consumer New Zealand won't like me after this post.