It took less than three months for Vodafone’s Wi-Fi calls to reach 10,000 users.
Vodafone Wi-Fi Calling reaches a milestone
Vodafone claims to have 10,000 customers using its Wi-Fi calling service. It took less than three months to reach this milestone; the service started operating in September.
Wi-Fi calling allows Vodafone customers to make voice calls and send text messages in places where there is no mobile signal but where there is Wi-Fi coverage.
This makes it popular in rural areas and also inside buildings where mobile coverage is poor.
It replaces the old Vodafone Sure Signal service which is due to close on December 10. Sure Signal is now ten years old. It is based on 3G mobile technology.
This has shocked customers in rural areas. A report in the Whanganui midweek According to the newspaper, Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is disappointed to learn that Vodafone is shutting down the Sure Signal service. They say this will leave many rural customers without a mobile network.
Sure Signal extended the reach of Vodafone’s network to rural New Zealand for a decade. The company says it’s less important now thanks to the installation of the Rural Connectivity Group towers. These now reach many areas that were previously without mobile coverage.
To use Vodafone Wi-Fi calling, customers need a Vodafone mobile account and a compatible phone. There are 46 phones that can handle Wi-Fi calls. Most are newer models, but the technology can be used on an older iPhone 6S that has the latest iOS 15 installed.
N4L Survey Finds Schools Confident In Protecting Students Online
Nine in ten New Zealand schools say they are confident in their ability to protect students online. Despite this, schools face many challenges, including issues of Internet access and reliability.
These are the findings of a survey of 550 schools commissioned by Network for Learning.
N4L CEO Larrie Moore said the results show schools and kura need support with online safety, distance learning and management technology. He says this leaves them “free to teach and the ākonga are free to learn.”
Almost nine in ten schools (86%) require students to sign Internet use agreements (86%). Almost as many (84%) use web filtering. They also invite guest speakers, run training workshops, and provide other professional development opportunities for teachers to bolster their school’s online safety efforts.
Schools say they know students can find ways to bypass filtering technology and that popular websites like YouTube can display age-inappropriate images and videos. They worry about cyberbullying issues outside of school that can lead to problems in the classroom.
Meanwhile, teachers report that it is difficult to supervise the use of devices in the classroom with students able to quickly navigate open tabs when the teacher approaches.
School closures in the event of a pandemic underscored the importance of the internet for learning and the challenges schools face.
Three-quarters said there were problems accessing devices (77%). A similar number (73 percent) said students had difficulty accessing the internet at home. Almost one in seven students (69%) said their internet connection at home was unreliable.
Broadband Award Finalists Compare Names
The winners of the NZ Compare Awards will be announced on February 16. The finalists for the Best Wireless Service Provider category are Farmside, Gravity Internet and Wireless Nation. The shortlist in the Value Broadband category is 2degrees, Contact Energy, Now Broadband, Flip, and Sky Broadband.
Farmside, Gravity Internet, Lightwire, and Woi Satellite Internet are finalists for the Best Rural Service Provider Award.
Now Broadband, Orcon and Sky Broadband are the shortlist in the category of the best fiber service providers.
Kacific introduces mobile backhaul for the Pacific
Kacific has introduced a satellite link product for mobile operators, ISPs and telecommunications operators in South East Asia and the Pacific. The service covers 25 countries, including New Zealand and the Pacific Island countries. The speeds are up to 200 Mbps.
Opposition launches technology policy process
Hours before former opposition leader Judith Collins was dismissed from her post, she released a technology policy document that could still be lost in the party turmoil.
Collins’ original goal was to host a tech summit early in the New Year.
One idea in the document is to extend the reach of the UFB network to 90 percent of the population and ensure that every New Zealander can get broadband speeds of at least 100 Mbps.
Australian Treasury takes action on consumer data law
As expected, the Australian Treasury has proposed to extend the country’s consumer data law to the telecommunications sector.
The move means telecom operators will need to pass on key information to customers that will enable them to make better choices about the products and services they buy.
It would also allow customers to ask retailers to provide the data to competing retailers. That way, they could make improved offers to those customers.
These steps echo the ideas put forward for New Zealand by Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson.
Kate McKenzie as President of NBN Co
Former Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie will take over as chairman of Australian firm NBN Co in January. She will replace Ziggy Switkowski who is retiring after eight years in the role. McKenzie was a Telstra executive before joining Chorus.
Warren Williams joins REANNZ Board of Directors
Dr Warren Williams, CEO of 20/20 Trust, has joined the REANNZ Board of Directors. REANNZ President Janine Smith said he has contributed to the sector through his involvement in Vision Matauranga and Te Mana Raraunga – Māori Data Sovereignty Network.
In other news …
CommsDay reports that the United States National Science Foundation is considering establishing a submarine cable connecting the South Island of New Zealand to McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
Spark Sport has recovered the rights to competitions from the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) until 2025.
Gartner says worldwide phone sales have plummeted 6.8% in the third quarter of 2021. The research firm attributes this to component shortages and lack of availability, not a drop in demand.
New Zealand organizations spend more on
Software. A report from IDC says software spending has increased 20% year-over-year. Team conferencing and collaboration software is the biggest winner.
The download 2.0 is a free weekly recap of New Zealand telecommunications news released every Friday.
Vodafone Wi-Fi Calling Reaches First Milestone was first published on billbennett.co.nz.
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