CallPlus unbundles Hamilton, offers 'data banking'

Launch of unbundled network planned for April

While Vodafone and Orcon are stalling on nationwide local loop unbundling, CallPlus is taking the first steps to service customers directly over copper – in Hamilton.

CallPlus general manager Mark Callander says the telco and ISP is building its own LLU network in Hamilton to launch in April covering six of the eight exchanges in Hamilton.

Once the Hamilton rollout is completed, CallPlus will continue to build in other selected areas such as Wellington, Christchurch and other smaller regions throughout New Zealand, he says.

Callander did not give a time frame for the LLU rollout in Hamilton and other regions.

CallPlus is banking on its telco experience for the Hamilton LLU project, and will introduce bundled packages with voice and broadband starting at $65 for a landline and internet access. This, Callander claims, “will be the cheapest plan on the market”.

However, Callander says he expects the most popular bundle will be a $70 per month one that includes a homeline with free phone features and low toll rates, calling packages that provide unlimited calls in New Zealand for $15, as well as full speed broadband and a 5GB monthly data cap.

Unique features of the CallPlus LLU plans include data banking, with data allowances purchased by customers never expiring as with other ISPs. Instead, the allowances roll over into the following billing period.

Off-peak data will also be free, according to Callander. Presently, the copper broadband will be ADSL2+, Callander says, when asked if CallPlus would supply VDSL2.

Callander says “we are looking at a Just Broadband (Naked DSL) bundle with an iTalk line or mobile access plan included for free,” to take advantage of company’s presence in fixed-line, IP and wireless telephony. Pricing for this is not yet fixed, Callander adds.

The phone features provided for free include enhanced voicemail with web functionality, “locate me” to redirect calls, call return, speed dial, time scheduler, remote call back, wake-up calls, caller tunes and many more.

Callander says CallPlus and its residential brand, Slingshot, are also enabling the G.722 ITU-T standard 7 kHz CODEC that operates at 64kbit/s with 16 kHz and 14 bits sampling of audio on its platform. G.722 is a wide-band CODEC that provides enhanced audio quality and clarity. Customers with G.722 capable devices can take advantage of this.

Nokia Siemens provides the MSANs for CallPlus and the local backhaul provider varies by exchange, but is either Velocity or Telecom depending on the location, Callander says.

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