Phasing out 2G and 3G, big changes in store.

The two major mobile networks in New Zealand have announced big changes in the next few years. Vodafone NZ is now One NZ along with announcement that their 2G and 3G network will be gradually closed off by 2025 (2G mid 2025, 3G end of 2024) – the reason for keeping 2G on for longer are the number of ‘smart metres’ that power companies use. Spark on the other hand has announced their own phasing out of 3G which probably explains why, when they chose Nokia as their 5G infrastructure partner, I wouldn’t be surprised if they rip out the 4G Huawei equipment and simply having a 4G and 5G network based on Nokia’s SingleRAN infrastructure. I’m looking forward to Spark and One NZ reusing the old 3G frequencies for 4G or 5G. Spark for example has 850MHz which Telstra in Australia have redeployed for 5G (link) and Optus in Australia launched 5G on 900MHz (link) with the fall back to 4G 700MHz resulting in a pure IP based network.

It appears that Google are getting sorted out when it comes to supporting more 4G and 5G networks with the latest beta of their QPR update which has added support for VoLTE and 5G for both Spark as well as One NZ (I wouldn’t be surprised if 2 Degrees support will be coming out soon). I wonder whether the decline in ad revenue has forced Google’s hand to get its act together when it comes to their other divisions – that they need to get their hardware division sorted out and move beyond just shipping their hardware to 14 countries. At the moment you can purchase Nest and Fitbit hardware but unfortunately that is all but that being said if I can purchase Pixel from overseas but it works in New Zealand then there will be no complaints from me regarding it.

Ubiquiti has released to ‘early adopters’ and update for UDM and UDM Pro of UnifiOS 3.0.20 – getting closer bit by bit to UnifiOS parity across the Unifi product line up. It’ll be interesting to see, once they’re all into sync, how quickly new features and bugs will be fixed particularly with the launch of the adblocker – hopefully it’ll become more feature rich to allow more fine grained configuration such as exemption particular domain names etc. Personally I think it maybe useful for a large network but someone like me would find it more reliable by just sticking with uBlock Origin and call it a day.

Substack has launched Substack Notes (link) – I love the interface, it is very minimalist user interface but that being said it would have been nice if they implemented Activity Pub so then it was possible to follow a particular author from Mastodon rather than having to create an account etc. With that being said, it is good that there are alternatives arising and hopefully it’ll result in more choice, more options and hopefully reduce the likelihood that a Twitter like fiasco will occur again because some billionaire with more dollars than sense gets a bee up their backside and buys out a prominent platform.

For those who prefer a traditional email client, Mimestream (link) is drawing closer to a 1.0 release – it’ll be interesting to see whether they sell it exclusively through the App Store or whether they skip that in favour of selling it directly to the public. What I like about it is the fact that rather than using IMAP and the mess associated with translating IMAP to Gmail way of doing things (for example folders in IMAP are translated to labels in Gmail) it uses the native Gmail API along with other native APIs which results in a more reliable experience. For me, I have gotten used to doing email via the web browser (probably due to the fact that we use Google Workspace where I work). IMHO Apple should be doing the same – maybe work with Google so that you can synchronise your bookmarks and passwords so you can keep using Safari while integrated into Google, one can always dream.