Today NZPA are reporting that things have changed somewhat:
CallPlus WiMax plans delayed
NZPA | Friday, 13 July 2007
CallPlus is blaming the scheduling of a spectrum auction for December as the cause of delays in the rollout of a nationwide wireless broadband network using WiMax technology.
The National Business Review reported today that Japanese bank Marubeni had verbally withdrawn a $450 million financing package that was to fund the CallPlus rollout. It quoted a source who said the technology the expansion was based on had run into difficulty, although it could probably be fixed.
"The original deal is off," the source said.
CallPlus chief executive Martin Wylie said today the technology did work.
Deployment delays were principally tied in with the Government's announcement six weeks ago that it would be holding a spectrum auction in December, he said. Last September CallPlus said it was preparing for a national roll-out of its WiMax service, which uses radio frequency rather than conventional wires for voice and broadband, this year. Mr Wylie announced the $US450 million ($NZ581.7 million) finance package in January, saying only that it was from a major Japanese trading house.
Today he said that due to delays CallPlus had not drawn down on the funding. He was subject to confidentiality requirements and not prepared to say more. Asked if the funding was still available, he said: "We're not drawing down on it today, potentially the funding will be reinstated and we've got other sources.
"It's more a case of delay and therefore we're not drawing down on the funding at the moment."
With the announcement that more spectrum was to be come available, CallPlus could need to reconsider which spectrum band to deploy equipment in, Mr Wylie said. If the company changed from the spectrum it was using now, it would need to acquire a new set of equipment and then trial it.
Hmmmm. I don't like ragging or running down people who are willing to give things a go and invest in the country, but I feel cynical about this announcement and how it came about. I recall some specific wording at the time that basically changed the premise of their announcement - we're spending money - to the reality - we're threatening to spend money unless Telecom and the commission move faster on LLU and Naked DSL.
A pessimist's view? Basic UBA, the forerunner for Naked DSL, has been specified and the industry is waiting on the regulated price. All things being equal, spending $5m on the change project and going to market with a slightly-better-than-what-you've-got-now-but-it-has-low-grade-voip in September is a darn sight easier than the real hard graft of spending a shedload of cash, building and running a network while being under pressure to connect customers, make money and payback the big boys.
I guess the hard work is best left to the difficult folk at Telecom, Vodafone and TelstraClear.
Interestingly the articles speculate that Apple is to share in the ongoing revenue from sales. Having completed several of these type of contracts, they are never as lucrative as they sound and are often a royal pain in the a** to administer for both carrier and supplier.
Far better and easier to receive a payment upfront and be done with it.
Anyway, this should make for an interesting xmas for folks in the UK - they may even pull off putting in the 3G chipset. Using GPRS, even with the Bytemobile speed optimiser in the way (which I put in for O2), is still a painful, painful experience.
So Vodafone announced that it was taking over the direct management of TCL mobile customers from the agency agreement, and was making contact with each of them.
This press item appears to have received much less attention, but casts quite a different light on the above assumption:
TelstraClear says it is still managing its 30,000 mobile customers, despite the expiry of an agreement with Vodafone, and may consider entering an agreement with Telecom.
Vodafone said it was taking over management of TelstraClear's mobile phone customers following the end of a seven-year old agreement in June. Customers will keep their existing phone number and operate their phones as normal, but will receive a separate bill from Vodafone.
However, TelstraClear spokesman Matthew Bolland said that TelstraClear would continue to act as the first point of contact for the customers, including billing.
Both Vodafone and TelstraClear said customers would not be affected by what Mr Bolland called a commercial dispute.
The agency agreement has expired amid an increasingly strained relationship between the two telcos, with TelstraClear blaming the failure of its $50 million mobile/broadband pilot in Tauranga in April on Vodafone.
"Last week, Vodafone wrote to us asking us to continue to manage those customers indefinitely, so the idea that they will assume control is an interesting one because those customers will continue to be served by TelstraClear," Mr Bolland said.
"We can now actively go out and look for another provider to provide mobile services to those customers."
Many of those affected were business customers.
"We've spoken to them (customers) and we're communicating with them again today about the fact that things don't change," he said.
It would be some weeks before the company made its decision.
"We're still in discussions with Vodafone about what we could do now . . . now we're in a situation where we can talk to two parties."
Perhaps this isn't news. Certainly it doesn't say much, and it's a shame only Stuff seems to have dwelled on it.
There can't be that many other provider's out there, can there?
Reynolds is currently CEO of BT Wholesale, the wholesale business of UK-based telecommunications and IT company BT Group.
He joined BT in 1983 after completing a doctorate in geology at the University of London. Since then he has had a distinguished career, encompassing senior leadership roles in sales and marketing, strategy, information systems, broadband, and guiding BT's wholesale business through the complex process of operational separation, when Openreach was created. He has served on BT's Board of Directors since 2001.
Reynolds will succeed Theresa Gattung, who leaves Telecom on Friday after twelve years at the company, the past eight as the company's CEO.
Simon Moutter has been appointed as acting CEO until Paul Reynolds formally takes up his role. Simon has held a variety of roles at Telecom, including that of Chief Operating Officer, and has a deep understanding of the business.
Chairman Wayne Boyd said he and the Telecom Board were delighted, after a global recruitment process, to have secured the appointment of Paul Reynolds.
"Globally there are few leaders in the telecommunications industry with Paul's combination of skills, knowledge and experience," Mr Boyd said.
Reynolds said he and his family were looking forward to coming to live in New Zealand. "I'm passionate about the telecommunications industry and its power to transform the way people interact, live, work and play.
"I've been a keen observer of the New Zealand experience, and am now looking forward to leading a company that will help to shape the country's future."
Reynolds will be based in Auckland and commence his new role at Telecom in late-September. His appointment is subject to the conditions set out in his summary of employment terms, below. His career summary is also below.
He will commence on a base of NZD $1.75m with annual performance incentives targeted at another NZD $1.75m.
Dr PAUL REYNOLDS: CAREER SUMMARY AND DETAILS
2000-Present Chief Executive, BT Wholesale
2001-Present Board Member, BT Board
2004-Present Board Member of E-Access (Japan)
1998-2000 Managing Director, BT Network & Information Services
1998 Director, BT UK Effectiveness
1997-1998 Director, Strategy
1994-1997 General Manager, Scotland
1993-1994 Programme Director, Information, Communications & Entertainment
1991-1993 Director, Office of the Chairman
1988-1991 Senior Manager, International Voice Products
1983-1988 Roles in product management, marketing, new business development & strategy in the UK & international markets
Reynolds has a PhD in geology from Bedford College, University of London
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 http://www.geekzone.co.nz/juha/3094. 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
It appears that a recent patch/hotfix/improvement proves to be anything but.
My laptop has been grinding to a halt when I first start it up, with the process SVCHOST taking all resources. I've spent the last week trying to figure it out - dodgy drivers? nope.
I've applied the patch - seems to have done the trick.
Basically the Alpine/Himalaya form factor, with WM5. But it's brought back a classic to serve the massive corporate community that choose Xda II and Xda IIi.
Formal, and rather badly implemented, link to the microsite, which now has a link to another microsite
TO me this smells of no budget to update the main site - and that it was easier to create a link off a link.
A year later when I had to reinstall XP, I discovered the R100 couldn't start from a USB drive. It needed to start from a USB Floppy.
Microsoft thoughtfully supplies boot creators for Floppy. There's one for XP SP1, and one for XP SP2. Does anyone recall how long it takes to start from a floppy drive? here's a reminder. It's 15 LONG minutes every time. And I know this because yesterday I was forced to reinstall after the boot partition finally failed (spectacularly I might add).
So why do I say every time?
Well, floppy disks aren't popular these days. And I didn't have any, so I bought a pack of Imation from DSE. 3 turned out to be duds. But I only found this out at the end of 6 disk startup, when my machine would blue-screen.
4 restarts and a lot of anger later...
I had created an image using nLite, a tool that supposedly creates 'lite' XP installs. Except it didnt copy the first 2 critical files to my 'lite' image, so I was forced to resort to my SP2 install disk. I have four copies of XP (many trips to Microsoft store in Redmond over several years), but only one had SP2.
It was only halfway through install I remembered that the disc was slightly dodgy, and a copy of it was required to proceed (if you ever have a chance to visit the Microsoft shop, remember there is a reason why some of the software is only $20!). My disc's are legit. But I have to make a backup to proceed with the install.
2 hours and a lot of pent-up why-did-i-ever-get-into-technology moments, here I am waiting for the disc to be created.
I know I will complete. But these days I don't have much time to waste on stuff like this. And as I get older and grumpier, my tolerance is just evaporating like XP support from MS....
And as reported from our own Mr Saarinen.
But it's not really peering (except it is), it only looks that way.
So, will this cause pressure on the other ISP's that are currently 'de-peered'?
(This development means only TelstraClear is left out).
I would say categorically Yes.
15 years of commercial business life will do that to anyone; remember, in a capitalist world you are working for the good of the shareholder, which doesn't always marry with best technology (Costs more) or social benefits (cheap broadband! no profit but who cares anyway?).
I read in the Daily Telegraph (UK) online site that the House market is gridlocked:
and that supply is at it's lowest level for a very long time, leading to erratic and plain stupid behaviour by buyers. But it's also a vicious cycle; people aren't putting their house on the market for fear of not being able to buy the house they want. So they either buy a new one outright - further squeezing supply - and then put theirs on, or they don't buy altogether. Some folk I know in Kelburn did the former, and only put theirs up for sale once their new house was secure.
In NZ going the same way? We copy the UK in a great many areas, and I think housing is similar - supply is tight, prices just stupid, and erratic behaviour abounds. Ending in tears is easy to say, but look at other indicators:
- Personal bankruptcies are growing in NZ - current rate is 1 in 1258. Mind you in the states is 1 in 169.
- The Leaders and Tommys guides are the thinest I recall seeing them in the last 18 months (!)
- Only very poor or very pricey homes are available; the mid tier houses in the $400-700k bracket just aren't appearing
I find it funny when I read that house prices or values won't go down, or will gently deflate. So here's something to consider:
In 1992 the housing bubble in the UK popped nicely, and many people were forced into foreclosure or other horrible positions. The contagion spread to NZ, and I still clearly remember getting the latest valuations from Wellington City Council on my folks property; it had halved since the previous year (and of course, the rates had gone up for good measure).
There were other factors at work - a change in the valuation system for one - but it clearly demonstrated what an artificial nonsense house values really are.
The only truth - since civilised man emerged in Greece 5000 years ago, one of the true kings is CASH. Settle your debts. Put away for the future. Have a plan to be debt free that involves coming out cash positive! and remember that those writing the doom and wonder stories are just people, prone to following groupthink as much as the next person....