phone support

Russell Coker russell at
Thu Dec 1 21:43:46 AEDT 2016

You have probably seen the news about GSM AKA 2G mobile phone support going 
away, today is the end day for Telstra GSM.

You probably think (like I did) that any 3G phone will do, but that's not the 
case.  The Samsung Galaxy S and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10i don't support 3G 
in the 850MHz speed and Telstra specifically states that they don't provide 
full coverage on phones that only support 2100MHz.

I wanted to give one of my old phones to a relative who only makes phone calls 
(no games or Internet use) so one of those 2 phones would have worked nicely 
except that he lives in one of those areas where Telstra doesn't support those 
speeds.  As you apparently need 850MHz to get Telstra 3G (including Aldi and 
other Telstra resellers) in Melbourne suburbs a lot of older 3G phones will 
suddenly stop being usable.

I don't know if Optus and Vodafone will have similar issues.  It's possible 
that they could as Vodafone supports 3 bands including 850MHz and could 
possibly have some areas that are only well covered at 850MHz-3G and GSM 
speeds.  Optus supports 900MHz and 2100MHz for 3G (which I think are more 
common frequencies) but there are some 3G phones which don't support 900MHz 
such as the Xperia X10a (which was sold by Telstra).

If you bought a 3G phone from Optus/Virgin a few years ago (as I did with the 
Galaxy S and XperiaX10i) it might not be usable now on the Telstra network.  
If you bought a 3G phone from Telstra a few years ago if might not be usable 
on Optus depending on how they do things (which might not be well known for a 
few months).

I've just given away my Galaxy S to someone who wants to use it as a security 
camera.  I encourage anyone with Android phones in such situations to give 
them to the LUV hardware library.  Even 5yo Android phones are nice little 
embedded Linux systems that can be used for running your own programs.

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