There was a sense of relief and deja-vu in the air last night at Telecom’s XT launch at the Auckland Town Hall.
While management and staff celebrated into the night, happy that the long-awaited launch had arrived, some conversation in the room reflected a mood last seen 20 years ago.
Back in 1989 Telecom launched the first portable mobile phone in New Zealand, two years after the 1987 global stock market crash.
Last night Telecom was showing off its new XT-ready phones and CEO Dr Paul Reynolds spoke of “faster mobile broadband” while some people were relieved that they still had jobs in a market of mergers and acquisitions.
The reminiscing about the 1980s also reflected the depth of experience in the room. The town hall was packed with ICT industry groups, Telecom’s partners and customers. It also seemed to be the hot spot in Auckland on Wednesday night with the projected light show from outside spilling inside and a club DJ spinning house tunes.
The court case with Vodafone was not mentioned in speeches but it was clear Telecom staff were happy the first battle was over.
While the XT network is up and running, XT handsets won't be available for purchase until the official launch date of May 29, which was delayed from yesterday as a result of the settlement between Telecom and Vodafone over interference caused by XT to Vodafone's network. Telecom decided to go ahead with last night's lauch event despite the delay.
“It’s a mobile you can take on business to over 200 countries across the globe and it’s by far the fastest 3G network in New Zealand,” Reynolds claimed.
Reynolds also said customers can expect 20Mbit/s a second on their mobiles using the network. The company has invested over half a billion dollars in the network.