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Hard and Fast

2007, the year of challenge - a 6 month stocktake

By Antonios Karantze, in , posted: 11-Jun-2007 20:26

In January, I posted on 2007 being the Year of the Challenger. You can read the post here

6 months on (thereabouts), how is the industry getting on.

Well, as we found out today, Kordia (formerly Broadcast Communications Ltd) announced it was buying Orcon Internet for $24.3m. Juha broke the story last week BCL were never really into providing service, Kordia on the other hand seem a bit more aggressive. A combo name from someone at work: Orkordion, which I quite like (bit like Vodahug).

Telecom has announced one of the biggest open secret's in the industry, and that's their move to UMTS/HSPA/GSM. But of course they'll keep CDMA going for at least 5 years.... or until it's cheaper to migrate everyone. The closure of 025 is nicely timed, although one might think that the sudden availability of 850Mhz spectrum would be too tempting for the redistribution government, causing it to be taken off them. Well, at least NZ will see some muscle in the mobile business - and Vodafone will really start to lose corporate business as Telecom wraps up whole of business deals with handsets not made by Sanyo....

Vodafone is completing Project SAM, their billing system upgrade, by slipping all their wholesale billing agreements until October and causing bill grief for customers. Billing system migration is never easy, but still....

Tuanz was a bit of a bust this year, with not that much coming out compared to the 2006 event (which was fun). Local Number Portability finally hit in April, with all providers having a service of a fashion. The cleanup is ongoing, but it does feel a little anticlimactic.

The 2.3Ghz auction due for May was deferred until December, ultimately a good thing as it was put together as a way of introducing cheaper 'mobile' networks when the technology is nowhere near ready (and one questions the value given there will now be 2 GSM networks in NZ).

And of course let's not forget the apparent Tauranga farce, where TelstraClear abruptly withdraw it's mobile network, laying the blame squarely at Vodafone for unworkable changes to a national roaming agreement....

The next 6 months:
Telecom has deployed ADSL2+ at a few key exchanges, and rumour is a few users are suddenly getting faster speed. That timetable is fast, and more will go out sooner.

UBA, slightly better bandwidth for broadband and the first step to Naked DSL, should go out later this year. It will make VOIP more plausible, but the heavily congested backhauls will.... remain heavily congested.

A bit more consolidation to come? will Callplus survive as a standalone in this market? can Compass continue to exploit it's niche or will they become CallPass? Let's not forget Whoosh, which might become Wheeze...

And as for the ozzie outfit... well.... who knows. I couldn't possibly comment

Other related posts:
2Degrees prepay price change
Consolidation (“and then there were fewer”)
Introducing the Hot New Social Network (updated!)

Comment by juha, on 11-Jun-2007 21:18


Comment by cokemaster, on 11-Jun-2007 21:55

Are they gathering that 'killer instinct' again?

Comment by sbiddle, on 12-Jun-2007 09:33

I thought the problem was they never had the killer instinct in the first place?

Comment by steve, on 29-Jun-2007 13:57

I like the woosh/wheeze thing... pretty much has been coming for a long time.

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antoniosk's profile

Antonios Karantze
New Zealand

I'm a born and bred Wellingtonian, and have chosen IT and Telecommunications as my industry, as a Commercial Manager.

Credits include but are not limited to:
- The O2 Xda smartphone range, and O2's range of 3G Mobile Internet services
- Numerous TelstraClear Mobile and IP voice products

In my journey through the industry I have worked at
- Bellsouth NZ
- Telecom NZ
- ICO Global
- T-Mobile International (formerly One2One Communications)
- O2 Plc
- TelstraClear
- Vodafone NZ

I'm a fan of technology, and what it can do for people and business... and I enjoy bringing new things to market and seeing them grow. Enjoy the blog, take the time to think about what I write - it's not technology heavy, and is my reflection on life and the people around me.