Why do people hate Annette Presley?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 6-Jun-2006 16:13

From the various posts on this site and others there seem to be a lot of people out there (including a couple of friends I have who are former employees) who absolutely despise the woman. She now seems to be up there with the CEO of another telco when it comes to being the most hated woman in the country.

This raises the question of why New Zealanders seem to love knocking people who aspire to be succesful, not just in the telco world, but in the business world in general. There are many examples of both  people and entire companies who have had the masses turn against them overnight simply because they build a business on a successful model and end up with a profitable company.

What is so bad about her being successful?

Is it because she is a woman? Or the power suit?

Is it because of her evolutionary approach to running an ISP (i4free) that effectively slam dunked Telecom and caused lots of nasty words to be spoken inside the Jervois Quay boardroom? The i4free business model where termination rates are used to subsidise a service is no different to Telecom Mobile & Vodafone who run a business model based around substancial income from termination and insist that MTR's cannot be reduced because it will hurt them.

Is it because she has pledged to reduce the costs for internet access and phone service in NZ? Do people not really want to save money?

Who cares if Slingshot/Callplus have a Call Centre in India? The technical skills and level of education levels of those staff exceeds that of many New Zealanders employed in the same position. At the end of the day there are only two things people want when they ring a call centre or help desk - 1) The call to be answered quickly and 2) The question/problem to be solved. If I can ring India and get my call answered and problem solved in under 5 minutes then I'm a happy customer. I had a need to ring the Paradise.Net helpdesk the other evening and was prompted with a message telling me there was currently a wait time of approximately 60 minutes.

CallPlus/Slingshot have some seriously cool products including a lot of fantastic Cisco gear for their VoIP network. Commverge currently offers NZ businesses the opportunity to move to a fully managed VoIP solution which can give you a nationwide interoffice virtual PBX that can be fully managed from a web browser. This is what Telecom are going to offer with their NGN in 18 months time but the reality is that it's here right now. They also offer iTalk which is a retail ITSP offering residential customers a replacement for their existing PSTN phone service, a physical phone number and dirt cheap call rates. The only thing that appears to be holding this back? VoIP over Telecom ADSL connections in NZ are just rubbish because Telecom are allowed to use interleaving, don't need to allow people to use "real time applications" and are not required to give any QoS or bandwidth guarantees.

And before anybody asks if she's related the answer is no. And secondly I have no interests in Slingshot/Callplus, I don't even work in the IT industry! The only thing I just don't understand is the whole bread thing.. Maybe somebody can enlighten me? Maybe the woman herself is a Geekzone member? :-)

Google Maps

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 19-May-2006 16:15

As of today Google now have street level maps for both New Zealand and Australia. This is great news for any developers who want to add mapping functionaility to their website or application with the free Google Maps API http://www.google.com/apis/maps/ rather than having to pay another provider for access to their mapping system!


Telecom Leak traced to PM's office

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 16-May-2006 17:06

So much for Helen Clark's denials that it was her office.

"The State Services Commissioner has just revealed Michael Ryan - a messenger employed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - passed government plans to unbundle the local loop to Telecom"

I wonder how's she's going to explain herself now after pointing fingers at everybody else?

On the 13th she was in denial that it was her office (http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3666315a10,00.html) yet apparently the person had been identificed by then. Who's telling the truth?

Woosh & Telecom - together at last

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 15-May-2006 08:55

I guess the inevitable has happened & Woosh have realised they are a lame duck who will be out of business by Xmas unless they can roll out a network that can actually work. There have been many people out there (like myself) who have always said that Woosh was a lot closer to Telecom than they made out. Telecom believed Woosh being successful would prove there was no case for ULL in NZ, things just haven't quite worked out that way and now Woosh have accumulated losses of $120 million and investors who have no hope of ever getting a return but have no choice put to pump more money into a lame duck or close it down. This announcement could be rather interesting and makes you wonder if Telecom simply did a deal to stop somebody else (Slingshot anybody?) getting access to Woosh's existing cellsites to add WiMax gear too


No it's not the drug dog - it's the DVD dog

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 12-May-2006 19:33

Apparently it's not the 1st April today so this must be true.


All this from the same airport that has the usual Green & Red channels for customs and in the 10 or so times I've flown though this airport in recent years there has never been any sign on a customs person in the red channel. In September last year when I flew through there twice they even had a big sign by the red channel exit advising you to pick up the courtesy phone if you had anything to declare. They have obviously heard of a famous saying from the Tui billboards in the UK as well! :-)

VoIP over mobiles

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 12-May-2006 09:22

I had a play with MINO yesterday.


This software installs on your phone and gives you cheap calling from your cellphone and is really an extension of the international callback services that were popular a few years ago. Run the java app, enter the number to call on your phone and you get an incoming call on your phone. Answer that and your call is then connected to the other party. I only had 2 min trial and the product isn't really suitable for the NZ market due to the high termination costs (since you are baing charged for the call to your mobile and then the destination).

It's hard to really see a market for products like this anywhere but the USA where you're not paying big $$ for mobile termination. I've got a similair setup at home right now running through my Asterisk PBX where I can send an SMS to my SMS gateway at home or access a similair page via WAP which will either ring me back on my mobile (or any other number I select) using italk VoIP and then connect me to a destination number in NZ. This means I can make a call from my mobile to another landline in NZ for 35c per minute. It also allowed me to make cheap calls when I was in Europe last year - I could send a TXT through with a landline number and get a phone call and have direct access to a dialtone to dial out.

T-Mobile bans VoIP on data plans.

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 10-May-2006 19:18

I guess it had to happen.

T-Mobile UK have announced that VoIP is a big no no on it's new 3G data plans. They've gone as far as threatening to terminate your account and disconnect your SIM card if VoIP usage is detected!


Telecom & Telstra at it again

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 18-Apr-2006 16:35

I found this story a funny read this afternoon - Telstra appear to have paid for the term AAPT in Google Adwords and a google search for prepay mobile phones.


Isn't it ironic then who owns the domain bigpond.co.nz despite Telstra owning the TM for Bigpond in NZ?

Telecom & the TSO

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 3-Apr-2006 20:01

After several years of not quite getting around to it I've finally started my blog.

This article from the Domimion Post today was rather interesting.


It was written by the father of one of my mates which is partially why it caught my attention but it does also raise the issue of whether the TSO in place in New Zealand is actually helping the country progress or actually causing us to move backwards.

Do people in New Zealand really want to pay over $40 for a line rental just to get "free" calls? With the launch of Telecom's Next Generation Network within the next year your phone line will essentially be a broadband internet connection with a VoIP phone. Phone companies and ISP's are going to be one and the same. The current Telecom TSO will not cover the NGN, what changes are made to this agreement before the launch of the NGN are going to be very interesting.

sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com