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Author The great New Zealand telecommunications battle
humphreybc
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Posted: 2007-11-05 04:58
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Vodafone vs Telecom - The great New Zealand telecommunications battle

As all New Zealander's should know, Vodafone and Telecom are two, and the only two, rival cellphone companies in New Zealand.

Everyone will also remember back to the early 21st century, when $10 txt was announced by Telecom and started destroying Vodafone. Everyone can remember their friends slowly trading in their 021's for 027 phones so they can have 500 txts per month for a mere $10.00. Whereas, on Vodafone, at 20c per text, 500 txts would cost you $100!

Now, in 2007, we have things such as boost mobile, a branch of telecom, with great deals such as 2000 txts a month for only $10!

Unlike the rest of the world, txting in NZ is far superior over making phone calls due to the relative expensive price of phone calls compared to txting. In countries overseas, it is much easier and more cost effective to just ring your friends to chat. But because NZ is behind the world in all forms of telecommunications, we do not have the liberty and ease to do such a thing.

Many have wondered, including myself, why Vodafone as such a large international company, do not bring out a similar competitive plan to truly combat the overwhelming $10 txt plan. The simple answer is that New Zealand doesn't mean a thing to Vodafone international and they don't see the need to waste resources on such a small economy such as ours.

Why can't Vodafone at least lower the price of txts to any network to 10c?

What will happen in the future? Telecom is using old technology, whereas Vodafone are moving forward with the rest of the world offering 3G and better phones.

These are the types of questions I would like to discuss with fellow New Zealand esato users.

So, go ahead. Discuss. What do you think will happen in the future? Do we need a third cellphone network to lower prices?

edit: Topic renamed at the request of carkitter
[ This Message was edited by: masseur on 2009-05-12 09:54 ]
Muhammad-Oli
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Posted: 2007-11-05 05:33
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@humphreybc Nice thread! Some real arguments could start here, but I guess thats what you want! I am guessing most NZ people will be pro-vodafone when it comes to the Vodafone vs Telecom debate here on esato!

I completely agree with you, I have been a loyal Vodafone customer for about 6 years, only buying a Telecom as a (very limited use) back-up text phone last year. As soon as I find the majority of my friends are on Vodafone, I will drop my Telecom in an instant. I have always wondered where Vodafone's deal rivalling $10 text got to though...

What about the news that Telecom is upgrading its network in the next few years? Does this mean that we will be able to use GSM phones on Telecom? Will NZVF phones be locked to the Vodafone network and telecoms locked to the Telecom network? I think its going to get exciting!

BTW: Its good to see a fellow Chch esatonian! I'm glad I'm not the only one!

[ This Message was edited by: Oh-li on 2007-11-05 04:35 ]
Muhammad-Oli
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Posted: 2007-11-06 13:07
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It seems to have gone dead on the New Zealanders on Esato front...
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humphreybc
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Posted: 2007-11-08 09:14
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All good points!

BUMP
soane28
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Posted: 2007-11-10 01:05
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yeah telecom are going to bring in a gsm network, apparently mid next year sometime. So that means we will be able to get the great plans from telecom such as 10 dollar text but have decent phones.

Although i reckon telecom will lock us into their network and put bad branding all over the phone like vodafone does (hate network branding!)

But if you did parallel importing and got urself a generic phone (like i always have done due to my branding hate) would that mean you could switch between networks? It wouldnt have any locks cos it wont be a nz phone as such?

Will be interesting to know what vodafone will come up with to keep their customers from jumping ship to telecom.
Muhammad-Oli
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Posted: 2007-11-10 06:02
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Yeah thats what i'm hoping will happen. I think theres going to be some sort of customer war between the two company.

Hopefully this means better deals!

I think i'm always going to be slightly anti-telecom though.
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carkitter
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Posted: 2007-11-19 02:32
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I may be showing my age but I remember before Vodafone arrived, only Bellsouth were competing with TelecomNZ. Vodafone had the resources though to build a decent digital network and bought out Bellsouth to get a head start.

I got my first mobile, an analogue Ericsson DH618 on the Telecom 025 network in 1998. A mate of mine who worked for Telecom in telemarketing told me that if I signed up to a 24 month / 200 minute nights and weekends plan I'd get the phone for free! It was a good deal so I went for it.

Over time though, all my friends went to Vodafone because of this new -fangled text messaging thing ; my phone wasn't txt capable and neither was the 025 analogue network.

By 2000 when my plan expired, I couldn't wait to drop Telecom. I vowed I would never be caught out again with the wrong technology, and under Vodafone I haven't.

Telecom however, decided to update the 025 network to the 027 CDMA digital network against expert advice and spent the next few years denigrating Vodafone's GSM system. They've now got thier come-uppance with CDMA being exposed for the white elephant it always was dropped CDMA products early on, Nokia more recently, and Telstra Australia started building a GSM network leaving TelecomNZ no choice but to do likewise.

Seven years on and TelecomNZ still haven't learnt thier lesson.

VodafoneNZ don't do a $10 txt prepay plan because they're smart. They don't need to.
$10 txt is a sign of desperation on Telecom's part. Vodafone do TXT2000 which encourages people to ditch Telecom altogether.

TelecomNZ are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have very few decent phones, a lack of Nokia models for business users, and are falling behind in technology such as HSDPA downloads, Mobile TV, etc. They need a GSM network and compatible phones and they need it now! And they know it!

I laugh every time they refer to thier new upcoming network as WCDMA and not GSM. It's all about saving face....

I disagree with comments about calls being prohibitivly expensive in NZ. I reckon call plans and Mobile Data plans ARE competitive here (at least on Vodafone). Plans will get cheaper still when Telecom get on equal terms with Vodafone - technology wise.
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Muhammad-Oli
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Posted: 2007-11-21 09:56
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@Carkitter:

Nice post. it was interesting to hear your opinion (and quite funny considering you sound rather anti-Telecom as I am). So are you saying that WCDMA, as they call it, is really just GSM under a different name? If it is, then I am going to have a good laugh, because it really does make it obvious that Telecom are trying to hide their (HUGE) mistakes.

I was one of very few of my friends who did not make the switch to Telecom when they rolled out $10 TXT. This was in the middle of my high-school days and I am now just finished my second year at university. I was so against it because I have more technology knowledge than any one of my friends, and I could see at a glance how poor Telecom's phone line-up was and how behind in terms of design and features they were and still very much are. I have always liked Vodafone's approach to marketing but I always wondered about whether a rival deal to $10 TXT was coming. I guess not. But I am noticing a number of people making the switch back to red.

Every time I hear of Telecom releasing a new phone or something going wrong with CDMA, I have a bit of a laugh. For example, recently I heard (I think here on Esato) that Nokia had stopped developing CDMA phones. Which means all of Telecom's Nokia line-up are now run-out models. Any that are released now are likely to be ones Nokia are trying to get rid of. I laughed at that.

I did buy a Telecom phone, just to keep up with my Telecom friends, and because my girlfriend has both and her Vodafone phone died. When I first tried Telecom's service, I was appalled at the quality. There is no way to send a text for your balance, you have to make a call. And on this call, you will encounter the Telecom woman. She sounds like a complete b****. For example, I top up $10, she says "Ten. Dollars. Has been added to ya phone" ...This to me sounds very unprofessional and crappy.

Anyway, thats my rant.
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carkitter
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Posted: 2007-11-27 00:14
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I've heard a few explanations for Telecom's 027 CDMA decision. The favourite one is "anti - Vodafone arrogance", but it's obvious that they take the cheap option and upgrade (thier network) only when necessary. This is in constrast to Vodafone who charge ahead, rolling out the latest network technology asap. Finally there is the "Telecom's major shareholders are American and Americans use CDMA" reason which I must say holds alot of water; when I was installing Nokia Carkit 126 for Telecoms business customers using Nokia 2286 there was controvercy over the lack of external antenna. TelecomNZ and thier hardware supplier were unaware that the Antenna Coupler which worked with the CK-126 and Vodafone-spec Nokia phones wouldn't physically fit the Telecom-spec Nokia models. After further investigation Telecom had to admit they'd got the 2286 from the US where CDMA reception doesn't need an external antenna. Doh! A case of some manager somewhere making a decision based on on-paper info and not checking with someone in the front line!

Have you seen that just recently Telecom have released a TXT2000 type prepay deal? Proves who was right doesn't it...

Edit: GSM means Global Standard for Mobile. Any phone that uses a SIM card is a GSM phone. CDMA uses an ESN (Electronic Serial Number).

With GSM, your phone account (Prepay or On-Account) is attached to your SIM card which you can move from phone to phone. With CDMA, your account is attached to your phone ESN and Telecom need to be notified if you want to switch phones. Most GSM and all CDMA mobile technology is developed and licenced by a US based company and thier latest GSM High-speed internet (HSDPA) network technology is known as WCDMA or Wideband CDMA. Telecom's product range will eventually be SIM card based just like Vodafone. Watch an see how they attempt to explain thier policy backflip in a positive manner. Should be fun.

When Telecom had no BT compatible phones, my mate said that it was a good thing as BT was a security risk for business customers.
The truth was they just couldn't get any decent specced phones on CDMA!
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[ This Message was edited by: carkitter on 2007-11-26 23:31 ]

[ This Message was edited by: carkitter on 2007-11-26 23:35 ]
Muhammad-Oli
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Posted: 2007-12-04 04:35
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Yeah it should be fun to see what happens to Telecom. I think it will be exciting to see what phones they roll out with the new network! Will they stick to their current brands that make GSM phones also? Like Samsung? Or will we see new Nokias and Sony Ericssons?


On 2007-11-27 00:14:48, carkitter wrote:

When Telecom had no BT compatible phones, my mate said that it was a good thing as BT was a security risk for business customers.
The truth was they just couldn't get any decent specced phones on CDMA!



Ha! I knew that was the reason! I remember reading about it and Telecom's excuse seemed to be that their customers didn't need it. LOL!
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Muhammad-Oli
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Posted: 2007-12-04 12:13
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Some pretty funny stuff happening in the latest MyMobile magazine:

They warn people that buying a current telecom phone may not be a great idea, as they are launching a new network next year. Annoying thing is that they say it nicely as if Telecom never screwed up and its the greatest thing ever.

It pisses me off how this magazine is so pro-telecom sometimes though. I guess they are trying to be unbiased, but because they feel like they had better be nice to Telecom, they overdo it a bit... Hahaha. Anyway, they are all over the OKTA Touch (A crappy looking iPhone copy also known as the HTC Touch elsewhere i believe.) God it looks terrible. But I counted 22(!!!!) images of the phone in the single (very small) magazine. I think they are being paid out!

Then they have a smart-phone feature where they fail to even mention any SEs. Oh well. SE needs to do some marketing here.

Heres a quote that made me laugh...

From David Craig, Telecom's general manager of Consumer Marketing on the new OKTA Touch:

"Most New Zealanders won't have seen anything like this before - from listening to music to checking a Facebook page, it's now all possible on the move with this device"

Yeah, right, anyone on Vodafone has been able to do that for a few years now. And it ain't at all new to most New Zealanders. Oh and from what I've seen, Facebook ain't all that popular here either.

In the magazine there is also a "How to" on getting Telecom sports updates. Suddenly I have realised that I've never seen a "How to" for any Vodafone features in this magazine. Hilarious, this magazine is biased! And I've been buying it since it began (and was more Voda orientated lol)!

Actually I have just thought: Maybe its because the Voda service is so good, it doesn't need an explanation! Yeah that must be it.

Anyways, Telecom sucks.
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carkitter
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Posted: 2007-12-05 01:37
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MyMobile Magazine is not biased. It's just that the take a non-confrontational viewpoint of the industry. Other magazines have taken a similar view in the past such as the AA Directions magazine. Thier roadtests during the eighties and ninties were laughable! When the Automobile Association restructured itself as a Finance and Insurance company, Directions became a lifestyle magazine. In truth very little changed.

I've been concerned for sometime about the way MM is soft on Telecom and Vodafone. Teresa Gattung once said that 'all Telco's lie to thier customers'. MM just helps to keep the coverup in place... the recent 'review' of the Gold coloured Moto KRZR should have been labelled an advertorial. But I guess they need do something for MotorolaNZ after getting tickets to the celebrity-packed New Zealand launch of the RAZR Mk2.

I'd like to see pressure applied to the networks to release sales figures for individual models and how about testing the SAR to see if manufacturers are being honest. And decent explanations on why models like the W900 and K810 were'nt released here!

MM certainly won't bite the hand that feeds it though.

p.s. did you know that I wrote two articles featured in MyMobile in 2005? And provided info for thier spec list?
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Muhammad-Oli
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Posted: 2007-12-05 07:32
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Wow thats very cool! I might have read your reviews! What ones did you write?

Yeah, their specs sheet used to be great, but they really need to update it now. I mean, all but 2 or 3 phones on the NZ market have speakerphone now and almost every phone can download ringtones and games. I no longer think they are something that we need telling. Also, some of their info is misleading or wrong. Are you by any chance still able to contact the editor or anything to put forward a few suggestions?
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carkitter
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Posted: 2007-12-06 23:35
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I've been thinking about that for a while now. The Carkit spec sheet I wrote for them needs updating to include A2DP and GPS functionality while the external antenna category could be dropped.

And you're right the phone spec sheet need updating too. I'd like to see A2DP and Wifi listed; and WAP, Ringtones and MMS dropped. And some of the info is wrong such as K800i listed as having no proprietary Carkit - it uses the HCA-60 and it compatible with BT carkits too.

The Editor I dealt with was David McNickel, but the current editor is Rob Bridgman. Rob published a photo I sent in response to an open request by former acting editor Vicki Bland, other than that I've had no contact with MM since 2005.

The address to email MyMobile is printed inside the front cover. Anything I send them will have to wait 'til my laptop is fixed. I have a replacement keyboard on it's way courtesy of trademe.
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Muhammad-Oli
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Posted: 2007-12-07 15:18
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Ah, so still using the library computers?

I think thats great that you had your efforts published in a nationwide magazine! I might contact them myself and possibly even offer to make changes for them, although I believe you would be better for the job with your knowledge of carkits, etc.
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