Now Telstra becomes an iPhone choice


The ongoing rumours that Telstra doesn't want Optus and Vodafone to get all the iPhone customers have ratcheted up another notch, with a report on Australian IT saying that Telstra will indeed start selling the phone, albeit not until July 22. (The Australian's Michael Sainsbury is impeccably well-connected when it comes to Telstra, so I'm quite inclined to believe this despite the lack of named sources). What does this mean for prospective iPhone buyers?
As ever, it heavily depends on the plans on offer, which no carrier has yet disclosed. Telstra doesn't have a reputation for cheap prices, especially on its Next G network. On the other hand, its coverage in rural areas remains the strongest (despite criticisms in some areas about dropouts). Telstra's certainly infinitely better equipped in respect to regional users than the other rumoured late entrant 3. And like Optus, it can potentially bundle the iPhone with lots of other services (home phones, ISPs, cable networks, mobiles). Once again, it seems sitting back and waiting is clearly going to get you a better deal than racing out on July 11.
Telstra to sell 3G iPhone [Australian IT]


Comments

    March 22nd? WTF?

    D'oh! Idiot editor typo. Corrected to July 22 (the actual reported date) now.

    Brilliant news! The more telcos that are carrying the iPhone the better! More choice should mean better deals for all.

    Oh, yeah, Richard, that's the way Telstra have worked in Australia for the past 80 years!!! Not.... :)

    I asked my contact yesterday at telstra, a reasonably well placed individual, parked across the road from the new Sydney apple store, if Telstra will be selling the new iphone.

    He said that the he latest word is all carriers will have access, but the new 3G version will run best on NextG, something about the carrier frequency!(could be hype)

    It seems the reason we haven't heard a lot about Telstra and the new iphone in the same sentence is because the big wigs at Telstra don't want to upset Blackberry. Blackberry are releasing the "Bold" in august (the next G blackberry).

    From what I understand Telstra have a very large business customer base on blackberry.

    But as I'm not a journalist, of course this is all un-confirmed, and you didn't hear it from me.

    The 850MHz spectrum Next G uses is supported by the iPhone, but there's no obvious reason why that would perform better intriniscally than the frequencies used by Optus and Vodafone. Where it might have an edge is in coverage terms.

    The BlackBerry theory sounds plausible as part of the problem, though reports suggest that the arguments over how many Telstra-specific bookmarks and links to Sensis content can be included are also a big problem. As is the fact that Telstra runs BigPond Music, which competes with the iTunes Store.

    In any case, for serious business use, the BlackBerry is a better choice than the iPhone, I'd argue -- built-in keyboard, longer-established software base. It's good that the next iPhone will have Exchange support, but history suggests we'll need a few patches before it works well.

    Yes, Telstra has more coverage of regional locations - throwing thousands of millions of dollars of government subsidies over a couple of decades at even a marginally-efficient company will tend to get at least SOME results. ;)

    My advice to those in 'the sticks' would be to check online coverage maps for the other providers first, and if one shows even possible coverage, ask them what kind of recourse you have if they connect it and they can't provide adequate service in your area. At least some carriers (I only know Optus for sure) provide a facility to exit the contract in the first month without cancellation costs (and without paying for anything other than calls/data used in the time you had the service). If and only if you can't get adequate service through another provider would I ever recommend using Telstra.

    If you absolutely have no alternative coverage, shop around for a cheaper deal on a Next G phone to buy outright (but make sure you get a warranty of course). That way you might be able to use some sort of prepaid service, or worst case scenario a month-to-month plan, that you can cancel away from as soon as other providers expand their coverage to your area.

    Good luck if you're in this situation!

    - Matthew

    It would be good if all the carriers stop playing games and just announce the real plans that will be on offer. Allot of people want the iPhone, its now a matter of network provider and plan and if Telstra play dumb they will loose customers.

    Why not be upfront, take orders rather than meaningless deposits and advise peolpe when they can get one. If its the end of July who cares as certainly all who want one will not be getting it on July 11th.

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