The pleasure and (minor) pain of Telstra Next G

Photograph of Telstra Next G cardbus modem in my MacBook Pro, with a pint of Kilkenny nearby

Over the last few months, I’ve been trialling Telstra’s Next G mobile broadband as part of an experimental “technology seeding program”. Despite my initial doubts, I’ve been impressed.

Previously I’d been using Vodafone 3G, tethering my MacBook Pro via Bluetooth to a Nokia N80. It worked just fine. I subsequently moved to a Nokia N96 and Virgin Mobile, which uses the Optus network under the hood. It’s terrible. I made a big mistake.

But that’s a story for another time…

Sure, Next G is the most expensive mobile broadband out there. But it’s also the best. Clearly.

On our road trip, we could use Next G almost all the way from Cowra back through Bathurst to Sydney. Yes, the signal dropped out as we drove through hilly areas, as you’d expect. But the data link automatically reconnected once it found a new cell — with the same IP address!

Seriously. Here I was in a moving car, running a ping and watching YouTube videos. The link dropped out. It reconnected. And when it did, perhaps six minutes later when the terrain sorted itself out, the video started playing from where it left off. Pings resumed with the very next packet number in the sequence — albeit with ping times of over 370 thousand milliseconds.

In another test, the data link kept the same IP address while I caught a train from Newtown across Sydney Harbour to Pymble. In CityRail’s loop under the Sydney CBD, there was no signal in the tunnels, but the link came back up within seconds of arriving at a station.

Somebody did some great network engineering. They deserve a pat on the back.

But what else?

Continue reading “The pleasure and (minor) pain of Telstra Next G”

Hello Mr Cooper! Beer please!


Do you remember this 57-second sequence from last week’s episode of Stilgherrian Live Alpha?

Yes, I blatantly demanded free beer.

Well, I asked for beer in return for a plug for the brewery. Such is the nature of a commercial exchange, right? Fair’s fair.

I thought I’d better put the clip online and bring it to the attention of the folks at Coopers Brewery in Adelaide and see if they come up with the goods.

I’ve just sent them an email. While it’s obviously extremely short notice, I’ll let you know how I go. With luck I’ll have a case of nice cleansing Coopers Ale to help the program go smoothly.

[By the way, the concert I refer to was the “Time To Act” concert for AIDS awareness which was held in Rymill Park, Adelaide. A great gig, which I’ll tell you about some other time.]

Watch It Shred!

Thirty-seven points for marketing genius to SSI Shredding Systems Inc. Forget features and benefits” [yawns] — all you need to know is that they make machines which can turn three dishwashers into ragged shards in ten seconds.

Marketing Lessons:

  • Before you can talk to someone, you have to attract their attention.
  • To attract attention, trigger an emotional response first. They’ll remember you that way. They’ll come back for the facts when they become relevant because they remembered you.
  • If people think “Wow! Come and look at this!” they’ll tell others.
  • Do it quick! A typical website visitor only looks at one page of your website — two if you’re lucky.

If you’re in Wilsonville, Oregon, please buy these guys a beer.