We've been soliciting questions for Telecom about its new XT Network via ads across the ffunnell network for the past week. The answers to some of those are below -- you can discuss those over the next 10 days and ask any others you might have.
We expect to be joined on Public Address System over that time by a variety of Telecom employees -- technical, marketing and perhaps even senior management. Telecom staff will identify themselves and state their role in this project.
Not everything will be up for grabs immediately -- the "reveal" of the network is still underway -- but Telecom has assured us that by Friday everything will be revealed and all questions will have an answer.
For now, three main questions have been asked by people who've participated via the ffunnell website. Here they are, along with the answers:
1. What phones will be available on the new XT Network? People want to know if they will be able to use their existing handsets, or if they'll be able to just buy a sim card from Telecom.
The range available at launch is showcased on www.testdrive.co.nz Telecom is building an online tool so you can check whether your existing phone is compatible with the 850Mhz network.
2. Will you be able to get an iPhone or use an iPhone on the new network?
A number of WCDMA 850 MHz capable mobiles will work on the XT network as long as they have been unlocked by their original provider. Telecom will not restrict which phones can be used on the XT Mobile Network so if you purchase a Telecom SIM you can do with it what you like, but Telecom cannot guarantee the customer experience of a phone that is not sourced from and supported by Telecom.
3. What will the plans (business, consumer and prepay) look like on the new network?
The timing of announcements on this front is still being determined but all will be revealed this week. It's possible that some of the answers may even be revealed in this forum. But two key changes stood out in CEO Paul Reynolds' launch announcement:
• Plans will not have on and off peak rates.
• It will not cost more to ring Vodafone mobiles than Telecom mobiles.
We suggested to Telecom marketing that participants in the discussion could propose their own ideal plan design in the discussion. They said "go for it", so you can feel free to say you think would work for you.
We can also talk about the technical capabilities of the network itself and what they will mean. Technical team leaders will be here to answer questions on build and tuning.
Thanks for taking part.
Alastair Thompson, Steve Adams and Regan Cunliffe for Ffunnell, co-organisers and hosts of this XT Network discussion on Public Address System