In response to the postponement of the scheduled shutdown of its CDMA network, Telstra has announced the establishment of a hotline to assist customers who are experiencing difficulty with Next G reception after switching services and handsets.
The hotline will offer customers the opportunity to receive over-the-phone assistance plus the possibility to arrange physical testing of reception at their location, plus the opportunity to swap handsets where necessary.
On Friday, the federal minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, ordered the postponement of the network shutdown finding that while "the Next G footprint is equivalent to the CDMA network ... in some cases, customers have purchased, or are purchasing, Next G handsets and equipment that do not provide equivalent coverage".
The postponement follows months of debate as to the adequacy of service for Next G customers, especially for those in regional areas of Australia.
"This postponement gives Telstra ample time to make improvements to the network, and for customers to choose the handsets and equipment that will actually meet their needs", said Sarah Wilson, policy advisor for the Consumers' Telecommunications Network.
"The reality is that many consumers are not always able to use their Next G phones where they had CDMA coverage, particularly in rural areas."
Telstra customers wishing to contact the Telstra hotline can call 1800 888 888.