NZ Comms unveils mobile brand, but little else

Few specifics on August launch given

NZ Communications has announced the brand for its mobile network – 20 mobile, but few other details about its proposed plans, handsets or offers ahead of its August launch.

CEO Mike Reynolds says mobile is a competitive market and he plans to keep further details "close to his chest".

He says New Zealanders are not getting good value now. NZ Communications plans to build a solid network and provide value and service. However, while material released at today's annoucement in Auckland says 20 will set new price benchmarks, Reynolds adds that value is about more than just price.

"There are a lot of elements that go into providing good value," he says.

NZ Communications announced that its services will be available from 2,000 retail outlets, but didn’t say who its partners will be. Many it seems will sell SIM cards only, but some will sell handsets as well.

Reynolds would not disclose what handsets would be available on launch, or whether Apple's iPhone would feature.

He says all mobile carriers are effectively offering the same technology and, therefore, cannot differentiate on technology. Instead they differentiate on value and service.

He says New Zealand is a mature market but there is still room for growth. 20 will be marketing itself aggressively ahead of launch, he adds.

The current total of 300-plus cell sites is rising rapidly, he says and will push through 400 for the launch. Future network expansion is fully funded, he says. NZ Communications has invested $250 million so far on its network.

Reynolds, however, insists the launch of a third mobile operator does not mean that the regulatory environment is fixed.

"There are still things that have to be evolved," he says, pointing to the importance of the Commerce Commission's current investigation into mobiule termination rates and "on-net" pricing.

20 will offer full network coverage around Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with roaming on Vodafone’s network in other areas.

The company formerly known as Econet has set up a website, www.2degreesmobile.co.nz. Two Degrees Mobile Ltd is a partnership between Maori and international investors.

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Tags Networking & Telecomms ID2 degrees mobilenz communications

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