Waikato University ditches Telecom for mobile, signs 2degrees

Scholarships and internships at 2degrees offered as part of the deal

2degrees has signed a two-year contract to supply mobile voice and data services to more than 450 connections at Waikato University.

The contract ranks as one of the most significant deals for 2degrees and sees the university ditch its current supplier for mobile services, Telecom. The agreement is part of the all-of-government mobile voice and data supply contract.

University head of ITS Kevin Adamson says the organisation picked 2degrees because it was impressed by the flexibility of its plans. He says as a result of negotiations with Waikato University there have been some clauses – such as roll-over minutes (from month to month) for up to twelve months, and the ability to share a data plan across five mobile devices – which are now available to participants in the all-of-government supply contract.

Adamson says there are “significant cost savings” in picking 2degrees but he won’t say how much the contract is worth or give a percentage on the savings made, citing commercial sensitivity.

The contract includes some peripheral benefits.

2degrees will offer special plans for the university’s students, staff and alumni. The first deal, which 2degrees launched last week, is a special orientation offer for students which includes 5000 free texts and 100MB of additional data every time they top up.

And 2degrees is offering Waikato University students scholarships and internships in engineering and computer science related courses. In addition, the university’s leadership programme will be used by 2degrees staff.

“The thing that attracted us, they are innovative and that’s a good match for us,” says Adamson.

He isn’t concerned that 2degrees will lag behind in the technology race – Vodafone and Telecom have recently announced 4G/LTE deployments. “I understand they have purchased some 4G spectrum,” he says, referring to 2degrees’s recent purchase of 1800MHz spectrum for $15 million which became available following the sale of TelstraClear to Vodafone.

Vodafone’s 4G rollout, announced last week, uses 1800MHz spectrum.

2degrees spokesperson Charlene White says 2degrees has increased its own coverage in the wider Waikato area including Hamilton, Matamata, Te Kuiti, Rotorua, Tauranga and Taupo.

Adamson says fixed line telco services for Waikato University will continue to be supplied by Telecom.

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