TelstraClear kisses 30,000 029 customers goodbye

, posted: 14-Jun-2007 13:06

Here's a curious story in the Herald, by Helen Twose, that says TelstraClear is happy to give up some 30,000 customers on its 029 mobile network to Vodafone. Talks between the two telcos have broken down over the agency agreement that allowed TelstraClear to resell Vodafone's mobile phone service for almost seven years.

In the past, I've been scratching my head over the increasingly eccentric antics by the Smales Farm denizens, wondering what on earth the thinking is. Still, given the recent loss TelstraClear made, despite promising Sol Trujillo at the Mothership a profit and the Tauranga Unplugged Fiasco, you would think Freeth and Co would do their utmost to hang onto every single customer they have.

Not so, and I have to confess I don't understand what's going on here. Sure, 30,000 mobile customers isn't that many, but the 029 ones tend to be government ministries like the MSD. Commerce Commission staff used to be on 029 as well, but have now shifted I believe. Doesn't matter how you look at it, these are important customers for TelstraClear. With the 029 network, TelstraClear could sell them a full telecommunications solution, ranging from fixed to mobile.

Now, a customer looking for such an integrated telecomms solution will have to go to Telecom or Vodafone. What will TelstraClear tell its existing 029 customers who will presumably have to switch to the 021 prefix when moving to Vodafone?

TelstraClear is looking increasingly amputated as a credible telco contender in New Zealand. There was some speculation that TelstraClear pulled out of Tauranga because it had signed a wholesale deal for access on Telecom's new GSM/HSPA network. That, however, isn't the case, I'm told by a reliable source.

How much of a goer was Unplugged in Tauranga anyway? The HSDPA network, supplied by Ericsson, was designed to run in the 2100MHz band. Leaving poor range and building penetration considerations aside, that would've let Taurangans using Unplugged roam on Vodafone's network over UMTS 3G.

However, Telstra's NextG HSDPA network in Australia runs in the 850MHz spectrum. There's the old 2100 GSM/UMTS network as operated in partnership with Three/Hutchison: was that the one Unplugged customers were meant to roam on in Australia, or had TelstraClear managed to source 850 and 2100MHz handsets/devices from somewhere?

Adding to the above, Telstra Australia confirmed to me that there won't be a trans-Tasman spur for its new Pacific cable. If Telstra had put in a cable between Australia and New Zealand, TelstraClear would've shot up in the wholesale stakes here.

TelstraClear could've made serious inroads into the Southern Cross Cable captive market in New Zealand, and put some good dents into the profits of competitors Telecom, Optus/Singtel and MCI. That, however, doesn't look likely now.

Maybe there's a method to the above that I'm missing?

Other related posts:
TDD vs FDD for LTE
Huawei TDD LTE demo aboard the Shanghai MagLev train
Apropos that new Telecom logo

comments powered by Disqus


Google News search
IT News
PC World New Zealand
Computerworld NZ
PC World and Computerworld Australia
PC World US
Computerworld US
NZ Herald
Virus Bulletin

Content copyright © Juha Saarinen. If you wish to use the content of my blog on your site, please contact me for details. I'm usually happy to share my material as long as it's not for spamblogs and content farms. Please attribute with a link back to this blog. If you wish to advertise on my blog, please drop me an email to discuss the details.
Comments policy All comments posted on this blog are the copyright and responsibility of the submitters in question. Comments commercial and promotional in nature are not allowed. Please ensure that your comments are on topic and refrain from making personal remarks.