Black + White launches mobile service

Mobile operator Black + White is promising to cut the cost of mobile prepay services, saying they pay a lot for the freedom of not having an account. “New Zealanders with prepay mobiles don’t know what rates they pay as they never get a bill. They are paying a lot for the freedom of not having a long-term contract. We’re here to give them a better deal,” Black + White CEO Johnathan Eele said in a statement released at the company's launch, in Auckland, today.

Black + White, which sells services running on Vodafone's network, claims New Zealand has an high proportion of prepay users, at around 70% compared to around 40% internationally. These users pay higher calling rates than those on contract, it says.

Eele said Black + White will offer mobile phone users a choice of calling rates and minutes and 600 free texts per month.

Eele also had a tilt at Telecom, which has just announced a new WCDMA network to launch in the middle of next year.

He said people were sick of telcos using "confusion as a marketing strategy", a term associated with former Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung. He then had a go at Telecom's roaming problems.

“It’s a scandal that two million New Zealanders have been sold mobiles that are now not even capable of roaming in Australia,” Eele said.

The company said new phones with manufacturer’s warranties can be purchased "at parallel imported" prices on its website or from trademe.

Black + White’s back-end fulfilment and help desk will be managed by ASX-listed mobile company M2.

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