Telstra's Very Formally Killing Its '3G' Network [Updated]

We've known that Telstra would be losing the 2100Mhz part of its 3G network for some time; it was a legacy of the early 3G tie-up between Telstra and 3 due to be switched over in August. Telstra's started notifying customers early, so if you're still on an 2100Mhz 3G phone, you can expect a letter just like this to drop through your letterbox any day now.

Telstra will still operate its 850Mhz "Next-G" network into the future, but if you're on an older device, your time is limited, as per the letter that Telstra customers are getting. Yes, that's right; a physical letter. Thanks to Fester for sending this in; I was somewhat surprised Telstra didn't notify customers via email or SMS, but there you go.

Update: Fester tells me that when he called through, he was told that as the service was ending, he'd be let out of his contract. That's not confirmed by Telstra at this stage, but could be worth checking if you did happen to be on a 2100Mhz-only contract phone product.


Comments

    My reading of that letter is that your are on a 2100Mhz device that is still on contract then that is too bad and you will be left floundering on 2G.

    I'm hoping my Lumia 900 will be out by then..

    Tell me. What phone has Telstra sold in the last 4 years that is only capable of 2100mhz? I'll have a wild guess, none. So anyone in a contract that has a phone as part of that contract could possibly be using a 2100 only phone.

      My SGS is 2100mhz, unable to use the 850mhz.
      That'd be all well and good, if only I didn't live on this freaking island wherein 850mhz is the ONLY service available. Gosh darnit!

        To get to the point, which I completely missed in the original comment... it doesn't seem to matter now anyway! I've got a funky, near-useless (as a phone, at least) device.

      I got the letter above and the model of HTC Desire I'm using is the international model (900/2100 MHz) that I bought online from the UK. It differs from the Australian model that Telstra were selling (850/2100 MHz). So I reckon if you've got one that you bought from Telstra it won't be affected, because as I understand it the NextG network runs on 850... unfortunately for me my HTC Desire model doesn't support that.

    Telstra is not exactly 'killing' it's 2100MHz frequency - it will incorporate it into its "Next G" network in certain areas as witnessed already in Docklands, Vic:
    http://i.imgur.com/xH6wX.png

    What they are killing is access to Telstra's network via the 'roaming' agreement they previously had with Hutchinson, where Telstra 2100MHz customers could access Telstra services via Hutch's radio network (operating on 2100MHz)

    This shouldnt be legal! I purchased my HTC Desire January 2011 on a 2 YEAR CONTRACT. By law they have to uphold that contract or provide me with a SUITABLE alternative. As soon as I receive my letter im taking this straight to the ombudsman. I know plenty of other people in this exact same situation that will follow suit.

      Hear hear.

      OT: Anyone really surprised by this? Telstra are bastards - we know. But the introduction of 4G doesn't really mean we need to kill off the 3G network just as easily.
      Won't some other company *cough*OPTUS*cough* set up replacement 3G towers? We're still gettting the GPRS and EDGE networks, for christ's sake!

      Smart man. You are right - if you're on a contract that included the phone they have to provide you with continued service. But I would suggest not going to the TIO first. Ask Telstra for a solution - if they don't provide one then go directly to the TIO.

      Remember the Customer Service Gurantee (CSG) means they have to escalate when you ask - so if the dude in India can't fix it then ask to talk to the manager. If no manager exists (common problem) then advise you will be passing the issue to the TIO.

      Hopefully Telstra has a pre-planned solution to upgrade all those people stuck with redundant handsets.

      Oh and remember the fix should not come with any caveats - ie an extension on your contract. Those kinds of shenanigans are illegal.

      If you got your Desire from Telstra it will be an 850 Next G model (that was the basis of the initial hold up with getting them here IIRC). However, if you grey-market imported your Desire from O/S as so many did (and I'm assuming Fester did) then it would not support 850 and seems it would trigger the above letter. AFAIK only Telstra here and Rogers in Canada had the 850 model of the original Desire.
      If you grey-marketed your phone and signed a contract for service only then you don't have a lot to complain about. Since they will let you out of a service-only contract then they aren't screwing you on the 24 months.

        Yeah, this is correct. I commented above, that I did buy the HTC Desire international model (900/2100 MHz) and brought it to the network, not the Australian model (850/2100 MHz). I've spoken to Telstra and they have confirmed that they will let me off contract when it becomes unavailable.

      If you bought it from Telstra then it's "Next G" and you don't have to worry. I'm pretty sure Telstra didn't even stock the 2100MHZ models.

      Everybody here is freaking out - some people are even receiving the letter, 'sort of' in error (more on that)

      If you've bought a phone from Telstra on a contract from ~2007 onwards, it WILL support NextG which runs on 3G 850Mhz (NOT GSM 850Mhz, not the same thing!!) UNLESS you bought a hiptop device (which no longer work due to no backend service and were replaced), or the LG Watch Phone in 2009 (which Telstra were replacing with NextG phones).

      MOST of Telstra's prepaid phones in the last few years have supported 3G 850Mhz. If you bought a ~$19 phone about 6 or more months ago chances are it is 2G/GSM only. Good thing is, you can get a NextG prepaid phone for $29.

      If your phone has connected to 3TELSTRA (3GIS, Telstra/VHA shared network in question), you MAY get a letter, EVEN if your phone supports 3G 850Mhz.

      Everyone is forgetting that the 3G 2100 footprint was only available in certain major metro areas - and 2G coverage exists in these places anyway

      When it comes down to it, if you're not using a 3G 850Mhz phone, you're wasting your money. And NOT just because you get slower data - even if you only use your phone for Voice or SMS, you're missing out on TONS of coverage. Hell, Optus GSM covers MORE than Telstra GSM.

      Please people, if you are on Telstra, don't waste your money on a non-3G 850Mhz device, or using Telstra with one.

      bought from Telstra? if so it is a NextG ie 3G 850/2100 device.

      bought from someone else? chances are that it is 3G 900/2100. In which case your contract covers the service provided not the handset as it wasn't provided as part of the contract.

      Illegal? sure, if Telstra had provided you the phone it could be. But if you BYO your phone then how's that Telstra's fault?

    Is it just me or is their NextG data network now overloaded (in melbourne at least) ? Both on my iphone 3GS and my NextG elite BBM to my work laptop i get a full bar signal strength @ 3G but browsing and latency is terribly slow. Its only been in the last six months.

    I dont see how can have full bars yet the internet browsing part is really slow.

    Have they overloaded NextG with the influx of Voda and Three customers ?

      It is crowded in points - yes. You'll find this eases up though as people move to 4G services. Most of the heavy users will move across to the faster network given that it doesn't cost any more to access.... which leaves NextG nice and empty for the rest of us :)

      And yes - this is the reason why the NextG coverage in congested CBD areas hasn't been fixed so to speak - people switching to 4G will resolve the issue anyway.

    hi, i have an iphone 4s with an italian sim card that was working since last day.. now i can recieve 3telstra signal but.. no internet
    i'm in ultimo, sydney.

    it's about a congestion or technical problems or it's bc they are cutting out the roaming on their lines?!

    i'm fu.. pissed off!!

    Riddle me this someone? I have a HTC Desire hd and also received that letter. And yep u guessed it as of he 31st Aug could no longer pick up the high speed/3g service only edge at home. HOWEVER, no more then 3 minutes down the road it switches onto the high speed/3g service via the umts network? Umm wats going on? Apparently my phone is no longer compatible with the 3g service, why then is it picking it up down the road????

      Telstra has set up Next G service on the 2100 band in some limited areas (such as Melbourne CBD) to provide extra capacity where there are capacity problems on the 850 network. It only exists to complement the 850 network so in most areas you won't get service but if you do then good for you.

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