[LINK] Smartphones and the mobile network [Was: Dick Smith Advertisement for Fictional Color Amazon Kindle]

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Fri Sep 30 11:39:28 AEST 2011

On 29/09/2011 6:06 PM, Antony Barry wrote:
> On 26/09/2011, at 8:24 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:
>> On 24/09/11 15:08, David Boxall wrote:
>>> Not everyone has a smart phone. Everybody who's tried one in my area has
>>> found data rates slow to zero. None of the smart phones has actually
>>> worked as a phone. Not well enough to justify the purchase, at least. ...
>> Yes. I purchased a Huawei Deuce U8520 Dual SIM Android Smart Phone last
>> week. It does not work as well for making phone calls as my old 2G flip
>> phone. The smart functions are useful, assuming I am in a location where
>> I can get the signal for them to work, but overall I have found the
>> experience disappointing:
> I have an iPhone on the 3 network and an iPad on Telstra. I spend a lot of time travelling to Sydney and Melbourne by bus and train to see grandchildren (off to Sydney for thee days in a week and to melbourne for two weeks at the end of the month). I find the 3 network very patchy and spend a lot of time roaming and strangely the need to reset the iPhone network settings for time to time but that might be the iPhones fault. It's patchy in suburbs and poor when travelling. Understandably Telstra is much better as I can usually get a connection on the highway but not so good on the rail line between towns.
> ...

The Australian Consumers Association has published a couple of test 
reports recently:
NextG this month <http://www.choice.com.au/nextgphones>. The tests were 
run in conjunction with a farming magazine and, for most of Australia, 
NextG is the only option.
Smartphones in July 

The iPhone tested well for RF sensitivity in September, but poor for 
reception in July. Not quite sure what to make of that. Its GPS 
reception tested poorly as well. Reported experience is that they just 
don't work in my area.

Most of the useful data on the Choice site is paywalled. Understandable, 
I guess. Buying units to test can't be cheap. I wonder what they do with 
phones that prove to be not worth buying. Toxic paperweights?

The variation between networks seems crazy to me. Why isn't the spectrum 
coordinated? Yankee market fundamentalist disease? If the government 
(that is, us) controlled the infrastructure, all providers could offer 
equal performance. Then again, the government would have to deal with a 
steady stream of income instead of the windfall from spectrum auctions. 
The impact on performance and coverage would be interesting to see.

David Boxall                    |  When a distinguished but elderly
                                |  scientist states that something is
http://david.boxall.id.au       |  possible, he is almost certainly
                                |  right. When he states that
                                |  something is impossible, he is
                                |  very probably wrong.
                                                  --Arthur C. Clarke

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