23/02/2007

GOING WORLDMODE, YAHOO!XTRA AND TELSTRACLEAR

Here's a link to a column of mine in yesterday's Herald outlining my experiences with Telecom's new Samsung Worldmode phone which has both CDMA and GSM chips, enabling Telecom users to roam to Europe using one 027 phone. Before, they had to borrow a GSM phone from Telecom. The Samsung w531 ($299) does away with the need to do that.

One point I forgot to mention is that the Worldmode phone won't accept Vodafone SIM cards in New Zealand, so you can't have one phone with accounts for both Vodafone and Telecom, taking advantage of the best deals from the operators. What a great situation that would be. The Chinese have recently shipped a phone that allows two SIM cards to be installed in one GSM phone so you can effectively use two different acocunts on one phone - maybe one operator for voice (which ever one gives the most bundled minutes) and another for mobile data.

My colleague Simon Hendery has written about the woeful state of play at TelstraClear. Have you read that Allan Freeth memo yet? If not, I've published it here on the blog, look under the December postings.

Also, a piece about the impending arrival of Yahoo!Xtra. If Yahoo!7 plan to do as much in New Zealand as they do in Australia, Telecom's new portal may prove to be the entertainment portal XtraMSN never became. XtraMSN's problem is that it's always been too much of a product pitch for Telecom - most of the eye-catching links are to Telecom's broadband packages rather than decent entertainment features. Let's hope Telecom and Seven pull finger and deliver something that will stand up well against the plethora of web 2.0 services available for free.

Finally, Mauricio over at Geekzone reports that Telecom's CDMA Rev-A datacard now works with Windows Vista. I wasn't able to use a test card loaned to be over the Christmas period because no driver had been made available for Vista. Good to see they finally got with the program on that!

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