It was announced back in February of this year that Vodafone and 3 were to merge, in a hope to be more competitive in these troubled financial times. My comments on the proposal was initially bleak, but in light of some more recent news my thoughts on the proposal are coming around. The news in question is the article on Whirlpool “3 set to utilise Vodafone network”
The access to Vodafone’s 2G network is in addition to the announcement back in April that 3 will roam onto Telstra’s NextG network. ie. When your out of the 3’s CBD coverage, you’ll get the advantage of using Telstra’s wide country coverage. However should you use any data on Telstra’s network it will not be included in any caps. At present the additional usage charge is $1.60/mb, under the new Telstra NextG agreement the roaming data charge will be 50c/mb. This is still quite high, but I do like the fact that I can still get coverage in the country areas of Western Australia for Voice and SMS.
So where is the advantage of gaining access to Vodafone’s 2G (or Voice/SMS/Slow Data) network? The original Whirlpool article suggests that data usage on the Vodafone 2G network will be included in 3’s cap. However what will my phone do when it can’t find 3’s 3G network? Will it drop back to Vodafone 2G or Telstra NextG? Whirlpool Forum members are seeing the Vodafone network appear as “3” in addition to “3 (3G)”. Perhaps the SIM will instruct the phone to choose anything with “3” in the network name. This also bring’s 3’s coverage to a mix of their own 3G (Voice/SMS/Fast Data) in the CBDs, Telstra’s 2G/NextG and Vodafone’s 2G in the CBD / Country. I also wonder if this will have any affect on the Telstra NextG whilst roaming agreement ?
Enough of me brain dumping for the morning, time to get back to my email and coffee.