Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mobile phones

In the US, they have a M and T rating for cell phones. M for Microphone and T for telecoil and the higher the number, the more compatible with hearing aids/cochlear implants.

Unfortunately, Australia does not have this rating and our major Telecommunications company has fobbed me off TWICE (once online, once in a shop) as they can't help and don't offer to do any research in it.

Yesterday in the shop, I explained the Iphone (as an example) had terrible sound and I just a blank look with "but that volume is quite loud". Well yes, it might be, but it's not compatable enough with telecoils.

On the US Nokia site I actually found a list of Nokia phones with this high M/T rating, but which Australia doesn't sell.
So I email Nokia, explaining this rating and these phones and do we have anything similar in Australia.
I get an answer that Nokia does not keep records of these ratings and refer to the Nokia pages to search for a phone that suits your needs and preferences.

DUH, this is why I EMAILED YOU.

Obviously in Australia there is a HUGE gap where there is no information available on compatible mobile phones!!!


Anonymous said...

You can buy almost any phone on the ebay. (That's exactly how here, in Eastern Europe and Russia, we get the phones that are sold exclusively in US)

Nikki said...

Thank you Xar, but US phones won't work in Australia, they use different technology :)

Anonymous said...

As I can see in wikipedia, one of the biggest operators is Vodafone Australia, which uses GSM standart. Many phones have both GSM and CDMA versions, not to mention that today there are phones that support each of this standarts depending on the network in which they are forced to work.

Update: Just read some articles about this problem. It seems that GSM network is by itself not HAC-friendly (it's frequencies kind of interfere with hearing aid devices). Maybe you could try UMTS-based networks and phones (as I can see, Telstra uses this technology; if there are some kind of Telstra service centers, maybe you could just walk in there and ask to try some of their featured UMTS-phones).

Nikki said...

We have 2 networks that work with hearing aids, 3G and NextG (NextG has wider network coverage: this must be UMTS). I have a phone on this network.

Trouble is finding phones with telecoils in them... and someone who knows what this is and can make recommendations ;) People who work in the shops don't know what a telecoil is :(

Mark said...

I now use an iPhone but prior to that I've used the Samsungs (last one was the g800 and the z400 prior to that) and they were brilliant with telecoils. These were 3G phones.

I don't mind the iPhone even though there is a bit of background buzzing sometimes as the speech comes through quite clearly. Turning off the wifi helps.

I also have the Nucleus 5 although the auto telecoil wasn't working for some reason. I had it turned off anyway as I there are a lot of looped areas (two bus stations I use have them) these days and it might be annoying going to T mode in one of these.