Vodafone vs. Telecom

, posted: 13-May-2009 17:18

So I'm not convinced as to what really went on within Vodafone and Telecom that lead to the Injunction application/settlement. 
There are a few different issues: 
  •  Whether Telecom should or should not have handled interference on an individual cell site basis. 
  •  Whether Telecom actually refused to fix the interference issue, insisting that its Vodafone's responsibility
  •  Whether Telecom should or should not have brought forward the release date, based on whether it knew that there would still be cell sites causing interference on May 13.
  • Whether Telecom should have switched WCDMA on at all, given it was warned by Alcatel-Lucent of the risk of it's transmissions interfering with Vodafone and NZ Communnications. 
    • Probably not. Whether they were required to or not, it would have been appropriate to assure that their network did not cause interference.
  • Whether Telecom did or did not engage with Vodafone at the earliest possible time to mitigate potential or exisiting interference issues. 
    • They did not. Once Vodafone and MED RSM had concluded testing Vodafone approached telecom on the issue.
  • Whether Vodafone neglected to act on any responsibilties of its own to keep it's network resilient to interference from other network transmissions.
    • Vodafone had some bulk head amplifiers on some of the sites that were affected, but there were many affected sites that did not have those amplifiers. Therefore it was not reasonable of Telecom to blame those amplifiers for all the interference issues.
    • Vodafone also performed testing on it's network to determine the cause of their network problems, and also asked MED's RSM unit to perform testing, which confirmed Telecom was causing interference. 
  • Whether Telecom actually acted unlawfully in allowing interference to occur. 
  • Whether Vodafone had no option but to seek an injunction, or whether it was a stunt to gain leverage and publicity after private negotiations were not satisfactory to them.
    • The PR side of it was probably more coincidental/convenient. I think it's perfectly fair that Telecom should be responsibile for making sure it's network does not intefere with other networks, and that it should ensure that from the outset, not just after other networks complain. I wonder if Telecom actually did any testing for interference, or whether it just waited for complaints.
    • Vodafone is totally reasonable in wanting to protect it's property and brand and if XT had launched and ramped up to full power, the property and brand would have been adversely impacted. Telecom refused to turn off the offending cell sites, and refused to install filters without proof that a particular site is causing interference (time consuming). Therefore the interference would have a) continued for some time, and b) gotten worse with the ramping up of power from the XT sites. 
  • Why didn't vodafone try for an injunction earlier.
    • Because vodafone wasn't aware that it was Telecom XT interference causing their network issues untill March, at which time they engaged with telecom to resolve the issues. It was only after Telecom refused to install filters on a reasonable time line that vodafone went for the injunction.
The picture I get from Vodafone's statements is that Telecom knew there was interference, and refused to do anything about it, and therefore was intentially degrading Vodafone's network performance for competitive gain.

The Telecom story is that Vodafone are simply a big nasty corporation and are using an insignificant detail to attempt to undermine Telecom in the face of competition.

Hopefully I can get some time to analyse this a bit, although I'm pretty busy doing some hardcore pro extreme Adobe Air javascript programming to make me a choice-as IRC client so it might have to wait a while.If you have any references to good facts about the case please drop a link.
Update: received from information from Paul Brislen so can answer some of the questions. I'll post an affidavit of the timeline and some other information later. 

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Comment by pav, on 13-May-2009 22:11

I personally think, this is just a big game orchestrated by the Vodafone.

Take it for example, if i have a my new sewage line in my home and by mistake infiltrated with your water pipe by 20% of it :), how many months would it take for you to go to the counsel and get an injection.

Hope you are gonna write a javascript for it to calculate ... lol

Comment by Paul Brislen, on 14-May-2009 09:22

I think if you look at the press release and legal letter Telecom sent out when we announced the legal action you'll see Telecom claiming there was no fault on its network, that all the problems lay with Vodafone and that Vodafone's network was at fault.

It wasn't until after the court case that Telecom acknowledged there was any problem on its network that needed filtering, and then made the astonishing claim that it had been willing to fix these issues all along. This is simply contrary to its first statement that there was no problem.

I can let you see our documentation on it if that will help. Please contact me directly and we'll arrange something. It's really quite clear cut - Telecom knew about the interference issue as early as November last year and did nothing. When NZ Comms took action, Telecom blamed them. They finally settled out of court but when the interference became apparent on the Vodafone network, Telecom once again insisted that it was not at fault.

Clearly Telecom was and clearly it should have been installing filters from day one. That it got to court in the first place is ridiculous. It should have been settled between engineers in early 2009.

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Hamish Goodwin
New Zealand

Have a Bachelor of IT (Hons) majoring in Info Systems. Mainly focused on management in strategy with a bunch of development as well. Now a Capacity Planner in Wellington (No i don't really know what that means either...)

Like to play around with various gadgets, particularly networks and communications. Also like to babble and make bold assumptions and statements about various topics that catch my attention.

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