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Vodafone 3G Guy competition: what's wrong with this picture?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-May-2009 09:37

Vodafone is running the Find 3G Guy competition to promote their 3G services - there's only one thing that doesn't quite work well here: 3G Guy is using a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with built-in 3G, which currently only works on Vodafone 3G when used in the main centres. Have you stopped to think a bit why is he visiting only Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin?



The problem is Vodafone's mix of WCDMA 2100 MHz in the main centres and WCDMA 900 MHz elsewhere doesn't go well with the main prize. The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is listed on Vodafone's own website as "2100 MHz WCDMA" (it's actually 850/2100MHz) meaning it won't work on 3G outside the main cities.

Yes you got it right: when taking in account 3G coverage the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Vodafone is giving away would work better on a competitor's WCDMA 850 MHz network than on Vodafone's own.

This is the same embarrasing situation they currently have with their Apple iPhone 3G offer.

I know more and more devices will be coming out with 900/2100 MHz WCDMA. But reality is Vodafone can't just replace their current 900MHz GSM gear with 900 MHz WCDMA gear without impacting coverage for their customers still using 2G handsets - which I would think are still in the millions now.

When it comes to 3G wars, the advantage is on Telecom's XT Network side for now. They were able to deploy a completely new WCDMA 850 MHz network that won't conflict with their existing CDMA 800 MHz service - and with the same coverage, something Vodafone can't match on a single network.

People will be able to move to the new network as they wish and there's a clear target for that - 2012. And there are devices out there working on this band already (thanks to Telstra in Australia and AT&T Wireless in the U.S. who deployed this type of network nationwide creating the market).

The rumours are that a new Dell with a 900/2100 MHz card is in the works and should be out soon. Like the Apple iPhone rumours we have to wait and see. Meanwhile some link love to the Vodafone 3G Guy and the ripoff site 3G Guy Goes Rural.

Update: It seems some people didn't like Vodafone asking for their followers to spam Twitter to be in to win a notebook.



My third mobile data XT Network experience: USB goodness

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-May-2009 18:04

So far I posted about my first and second mobile data experience on the Telecom New Zealand's new XT network. After the official media launch I was handed a Sierra Wireless 885 USB modem, which I have now tested too...

I've swapped my XT Network SIM card from my handset to the Sierra Wireless 885 USB Modem. No CD in the box - the software is automatically installed from the USB device, which can also be used as a media card reader. The software announced a firmware update was available and I let it do the update.

No problems at installing on Windows 7 RC 64 bit - so I guess it should work well with all other previous versions of Windows - and Mac OS X software is on the USB memory too...

After this I clocked the performance on this device. So here is the user interface and the speed test results:












My second mobile data XT Network experience: blowing away

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-May-2009 16:11

A week ago I've got one of the test SIM cards to use on Telecom New Zealand's XT Network and reported my first mobile data speed experience on the new network - limited by the device I had at hand (the AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro).

I have now received an Acer F900 Windows Mobile Professional (touchscreen), swapped the SIM card, and got 100% faster mobile data traffic:



The XT Network is shapping up to be a good thing...




Join us at the Powershop Pioneers to be in to win $1,000 of electricity

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-May-2009 10:14

If you follow Geekzone during this month (May 2009) you will probably notice an advert showing an updated Daniel Boone image with a familiar face... If not, check the picture on the side and you know what I mean.

Yes, I know what you will say: Daniel Boone never looked like that, an invention of TV. But it's all fun and games folks - I am joined by Kiwiblog's David Farrar, Public Address's Russell Brown and Scoop's Alastair Thompson as one of the "Powershop Pioneers", part of a promotional campaign.

I think I qualify as a Powershop Pioneer, since I've switched my electricity to Powershop even before they went public, as part of their beta test.

Anyway, the biggest part of this promotion is that consumers joining the Powershop Pioneers are in to win NZ$ 1,000 of electricity at the end of May 2009. We already had two prize draws, so now is your chance to join the revolution and become a pioneer yourself.







Send your old phones to Starship Childrens Hospital

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-May-2009 13:58

Now that we have Telecom New Zealand's new 3G network coming up, plus Vodafone's 900MHz network up in many places is a good time to get new mobile phone handsets.

What to do with the old phones? Recycle them. Better still, send those old handsets to the Starship Childrens Hospital, where they will be sorted out, reused or recycled as required.








My first mobile data XT Network experience

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-May-2009 17:53

I've just inserted a Telecom XT Network SIM card into my Windows Mobile device (an AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro, 850 MHz, WCDMA/HSUPA), plugged it via USB to my laptop and this is the first speedtest result:



Not bad for a test with no preparation (programs running in background, VPN active, etc). Also note this is not the XT Network max speed but indeed the device's max speed.

More testing to come, but so far so good...





I have some I.T. Rockstar t-shirts to giveaway

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-May-2009 13:44

As posted in my Twitter, I have a couple of I.T. Rockstar t-shirts to giveaway...



To be in to win just post a comment here about who you would nominate for I.T. Rockstar or who of the I.T. Rockstar nominees would get your vote and I will draw a few names from here and Twitter next Monday 11th May in the evening.




Facebook for Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-May-2009 09:00

Microsoft is making available a free Facebook client for Windows Mobile phones. This application will run on Windows Mobile 6.0 and newer - including Windows Mobile 6.5 devices coming later this year.

I have been running it for a while and here are some screenshots:

  

 

 

The application provides all the functionality you expect from a Facebook client, and the most interesting bit is the ability to upload videos directly from your Windows Mobile device.

Facebook client for Windows Mobile phones runs on Windows Mobile Professional (touchscreen) and Windows Mobile Standard (non-touchscreen).



Vodafone and Telecom settle out of court

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-May-2009 08:52

After a day full of rumours both companies had their time to explain their side on the Vodafone vs Telecom case.

At the end the companies decided to settle and issued a press release about the topic. Telecom has agreed to extend the program to deploy filters on their network to prevent further interference, at the same time delaying the launch of XT Network to the end of May 2009.

Vodafone agreed to drop the case.





Google Trends shows search for Telecom vs Vodafone

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-May-2009 08:08

Here's an interesting moving comparison chart of New Zealand-based searches of "Telecom" and "Vodafone":



Looking at this it seems (at least until about April 2009) people searched more for "Telecom" than "Vodafone". Sign of popularity?



freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I work for Intergen and I'm also the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

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If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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