TUANZ praises Telecom's network investment choice

Company sends strong signal of its priorities, says TUANZ CEO

Telecommunications user group TUANZ says Telecom has sent a "powerful and very welcome signal" to New Zealanders by choosing to put its new 3G mobile network in New Zealand ahead of a investing in Australia.

Telecom announced its investment in a nationwide WCDMA 3G mobile network this week, while its subsidiary AAPT withdrew from a consortium planning to bid to build Australia’s planned National Broadband Network.

“New Zealanders should not overlook the significance of that decision,” TUANZ Chief Executive Ernie Newman says.

“Telecom did have a choice. It could have put the Australian opportunity first, for reasons of face as much as anything else. In earlier days under different management, it quite possibly would have done so.

“By pressing ahead with the mobile network at the expense of Australia, Telecom’s Dr Paul Reynolds is making a very strong statement about where the company’s priorities lie when the chips are down these days — here in its home market."

Meanwhile, others have joined the chorus welcoming Telecom's 3G plan.

Qualcomm ANZ manager Robert Hart says HSPA+ provides a highly efficient path for network operators to provide advanced broadband wireless services with their existing networks.

"HSPA+ is a seamless upgrade from HSPA that delivers up to 28 Mbit/s in mobile broadband speeds while it dramatically increases network capacity without the need for new spectrum.

"What this means for both individual subscribers and enterprise subscribers is even higher productivity gains, thanks to faster speeds and increased availability of sophisticated applications and content. Additionally, 3G will enable greater Internet connectivity access for New Zealand, particularly in areas with less fixed line coverage.

"Furthermore, with an ever-growing 3G cellular ecosystem, Qualcomm is confident that large numbers of HSPA+ devices will be available soon after commercialisation in 2009. The launch of HSPA+ in New Zealand will ensure it remains a world leader in offering advanced cellular services.”

Minister of communications David Cunliffe also welcomed the news.

“Yesterday Telecom announced that it is investing $574 million in its new 3G network and will be fast tracking its rollout. That brings new industry investment in 3G networks to in excess of $1 billion,” he said.

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