It’s rare I pay a compliment to Telstra, they’ve been the source of so much pain over the years, and their domination of the telecommunications market in Australia is akin to Godzilla in a childcare centre, but for once I must give them kudos.
I upgraded my trusty iPhone4 to the new (and very very good) iPhone5s the other day. A key issue for me was unlocking the phone – removing the lock that carriers put on handsets to make sure you can only use the phone on their network. I need my phone to be unlocked so I can swap to my USA SIM card when I’m in America.
In the past unlocking a phone has even incurred a charge – from memory a jaw-aching $100 or $150. But nowadays it’s free – just go to the Unlock page on the Telstra web site. And here’s the massively good and useful news “All iPhone 5 models are already unlocked. “. Nothing for me to do!
It’s one in the eye for telcos in the USA, where they persist selling phones locked to the carrier, with complicated rules about when you can unlock – for example, usually you need to own the handset outright – eg not be paying it off as part of a phone plan contract.
My son’s been moaning something about no 3G access on his Telstra iPhone for the last week or so, finally sat down to look today. He was right – the signal strength is fine, but no ‘3G’ symbol. And if you try to open a web site in the browser you see a ‘no internet access’ message.
I hunted around online and finally found this forum post. One of the remedies suggested is:
“go to settings – general – cellular – Cellular data network -and change APN from telstra.wap to telstra.iph”
I checked the settings and lo and behold:
I changed the setting to telstra.iph:
…then rebooted the phone. Now have the 3G symbol displayed, and data access when not connected to our wifi.
A nice man from BigPond turned up today and installed cable internet for us, so we now have both cable and ADSL internet connected at home. I’ve been running tests using speedtest.net and the difference is remarkable.
Our ADSL is supposed to be ADSL2+, the fastest available, here’s our speed test result (with my Mac connected via ethernet).
And here’s the cable result (with my Mac connected via wi-fi, not even ethernet).
The iPads are running around 40Mbps, iPhones around 17Mbps, not quite sure why the phones are a little slower, but to be frank it’s still a lightyear improvement.
The gamers, YouTubers, Apple TVers and other bandwidth sucks in my house are going be like pigs in clover.
3 iPhones (including me checking Twitter to avoid working)
3 Macs (including me trying to get some work done)
2 iPads (I hear at least one playing Hi-5 YouTube clips)
Playstation with Call of Duty in full battle
And this is a lighter than normal load, our eldest daughter, one of the major net consumers, is not here. Whilst there’s no question we are a geeky household, nobody can tell me we are particularly out of the ordinary these days. Why on earth you would introduce such a low ‘cap’ on the nation’s ability to access the internet is beyond me.