CDMA network closes; cellphone retailers busy

Telecom's CDMA network officially closed last night and Dunedin cellphone retailers have experienced a rush of customers not wanting to be left without working cellphones.

The network was switched off at midnight and phones which used it could no longer make or receive calls, including 111 calls, send texts or use mobile data.

It has been replaced by UMTS technology, on which Telecom's XT network, 2degrees and Vodafone are based.

Staff at a Dunedin Telecom store were too busy to comment yesterday, but a company spokeswoman said there had been an "uplift in CDMA customers to our stores in the past few weeks".

The company gave customers more than a year's notice of the closure and ran advertising.

"We are confident that there is good awareness of the network closure," she said.

2degrees Dunedin store manager Peet Van Niekerk said the termination had been "absolutely brilliant for 2degrees".

"Over the last couple of months, we've been extremely busy. We've been getting heaps and heaps in from CDMA," he said.

The retailer brought in extra stock of its basic phones especially for CDMA customers as they were "inclined towards cheaper phones".

However, Mr Van Niekerk's expectations of a "crazy" weekend in terms of sales did not eventuate and he believed most customers had already switched phones.

Vodafone's Dunedin store did not answer calls yesterday.


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