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Tech Talk Radio Show 08 of 2009
Transmission date: February 23, 2009

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Ep 8: TTR Ep 0809: Grace Kerrison, director of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business in Australia tells us about the latest mobile habits survey, Sol looses his phone, Adam talks to Ruslan Kogan and Mark Helvadjian. Also a Ringtone Code of Practice.

February 23, 2009

Mobile communications is back in the news this week with Telstra trumpeting the launch of the new 21MBs next G mobile phone network. But what does it mean to those using the mobile network? Well… not much. Marketing departments love touting the maximum possible. Included in Telstra’s press release was a report from a company called Concept economics – not to be confused with access economics, the governments preferred supplier of statistical and analytical information.

According to the report, Concept economics define Next G as a 3G digital mobile network that can achieve very high data transfer speeds (for a mobile network) of up to 21 Mbps burst speed.3 This compares favorably to the maximum ADSL broadband speeds currently available in many rural and remote, and some urban, areas. The Next G network is also faster than other Australian 3G
Networks. For example, Optus’ 3G/HSPA network has typical speeds of between 512 kbps and 1.5 Mbps, and has a theoretical maximum speed of 3.6 Mbps.

A somewhat misleading comparison between the two telecommunications providers. Telstra is spruiked at speeds of up to 21 Mbps per second – the unachievable maximum, versus Optus’s typical, achievable speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps, and this is on the first few pages of the 61 page document. There’s nothing like an even playing field when it comes to comparing horses for courses, but then again, we are talking Telstra here. One has to ask if Concept Economics is a division of the Telstra marketing department.

In other Telco news this week, Hutchison’s 3 managed to lure some 5000 disgruntled iPhone users away from the Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone networks. Not bad for a company that doesn’t sell Apple’s iconic mobile phone and who also posted yet another loss of $163.1m for the full year to December 31 2008. It will be interesting to see how 3 and Vodafone pair up being the two biggest loss generating tacos.

And while we’re on the subject of mobile phones, have you tried buying a handset that meets your requirements these days? Ever since the iPhone hit the market, it seems like the major manufactures’ of handsets has dropped the ball. Very few handsets have emerged over the past year and those that have, have been less than enticing. So what’s going on? Is it the evolution of net books and iPhones that has brought about the demise of the humble mobile phone? Maybe demise is too strong a word, but seriously – try replacing your current handset with something that works for you. Maybe the manufacturers need a stimulus package as well.

This week on TTR

Grace Kerrison, director of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business in Australia tells us about the latest microsoft mobile habits survey

Adam shares his thoughts on Telstra’s next G upgrade and files a report from Queensland where he's attending the Media Connect Kickstart Conference and speaks to Ruslan Kogan and Mark Helvadjian the General Manager Consumer platforms group at Yahoo 7.

Sol Trujillo puts an ad in the lost and found column and

Choice (an Australian consumer protection group) wants to code of practice to be introduced to protect users from rogue ring tones.