Call to switch to new network

Timaru Telecom mobile customers need to make sure they have switched to the XT network as the company phases out its old CDMA system by the end of the month.

The company announced it was closing the CDMA network a year ago.

CDMA mobile phones will no longer operate from August 1 and customers will need to purchase an XT mobile phone.

Telecom Timaru store manager Justin Mackay said queues were forming at the store as people switched at the last minute.

The XT network is Telecom New Zealand's branding for its new mobile network, based on 3G - or third-generation - technologies.

The network was purpose-built for smartphones to give users advanced applications, service and 3G capability. Nearly $4.3 million was invested in the network in Canterbury last year.

Mr Mackay said there had been an influx of customers to the store this week.

"I think a lot of people have left it quite late. Most people say they've known for quite a while."

He said there was still plenty of stock left.

"The sooner as opposed to last-minute buying would be preferable," Mr Mackay said.

Most of the customers arriving at the store this month were switching over.

"There's probably an extra 100 customers during the day over what we'd usually see.

"It's Christmas volumes."

Old CDMA mobiles can be taken to Telecom stores to be recycled. Proceeds from the initiative will be donated to Starship Children's Health.

Customers can check whether they are on the CDMA network by dialling *333. Any pre-paid balance on a CDMA mobile phone will expire when the network closes.

If a customer has a high prepaid balance after that, they have until October 31 to contact Telecom to discuss a refund.

The Timaru Herald