Fry Up - A kiss on the hand may be quite continental

Is The Clean a Dunedin or Christchurch band?

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental...

There has been a lot of speculation since Marilyn Monroe died about her love life, her cause of death, her literary tastes but never anything about where she stood on telco matters. But it’s fair to say that she would likely have been a proponent of net neutrality . How can Fry Up make that bold claim?

In a roundabout way Vodafone head of corporate affairs Tom Chignell told us.

Actually, what Chignell said – at a very interesting Vodafone briefing this week in which its GMs laid out the company’s strategy for the next era in telco world – is that there are two schools of thought on how mobile network operators should frame their business cases in the future. He said there is an American school of thought and a European school of thought (he favours the latter).

“The American school of thought suggests it is a socialist republic of data and all bytes are equal,” Chignell says. “So they’ve come down in favour of the OTT players (that is Google, Facebook, Apple etc) camp and say you can’t discriminate between the types of use.”

“In Europe they have taken a different view. You can [differentiate] because there are different sources of revenue and we need future investment, therefore we need to give flexibility for networks to seek that cash from different sources. By the way if they do it in a way that customers don’t like then there are plenty of operators around, so just switch operators”.

Oh right, competition. Quite how this would be achieved if Chignell gets his way and Vodafone and only one other operator get to divide the very valuable 700MHz spectrum between them, is a question that really does need to be considered by the Ministry of Economic Development who will be conducting the upcoming spectrum auction.

Anyway, the whole US vs Europe thing, put Fry Up in mind of that line in the famous Marilyn Monroe song - “A kiss on the hand may be quite continental but diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” That’s because if New Zealand carriers do go down the European route they willl most likely seduce their subscribers with tarted up offers, managing data traffic flows so that those who pay a premium rate to access a popular social media site will get a better quality of a service. And those who don’t pay will get a lesser service.

So yeah, Monroe (who by virtue of her birthplace would have been in the US camp) would have got that and, were she alive today, she might well say: “It’s like that on-net Best Mates plan Vodafone introduced a few years ago which has helped them to get to monopoly status in the very lucrative Auckland market (68 percent share by the telco’s own admission). Plans like that skew the market and create a barrier to competition, which is the why in Singapore they outlawed them for a time.”

Vodafone declares its spectrum agenda

Singapore spectrum allocation complicated by neighbours

Telcos strategies to win back revenue

Spectrum auctions and the digital dividend

Dunedin sound debate rages

This week one of the most contentious debates ever to occur in the Fry Up offices has raged - whether The Clean is a Dunedin or a Christchurch band.

Here's a video of The Clean from 1982 shot by Andrew Shaw (remember Hey Hey It's Andy?) in Christchurch. Spot the band playing in the square by the Cathedral….

But was it enough to sway us? We've examined the evidence and we’ve made a call.

Dunedin IT scene - cultural attraction for the tech savvy

What’s that shuffling sound?

ICT Minister Steven Joyce searching through his papers for very important correspondence from the country’s highest paid chief executive that he apparently forgot about.

Muddying the waters of integrity Curran: Joyce “lied” about Telecom separation correspondence

Nice product, shame about the press release

As part of Fry Up' s occasional series (which may or may not have begun today) on the strange, weird and desperate press releases that pass through our email inbox, we bring you this from the folks at Huawei and Telecom:

“Huawei and Telecom launch New Zealand’s cheapest Android smartphone”

Are you sure?

Kiwis pay 62 percent more for cheapest smartphone

And this from Sybase:

“Sybase Survey Finds Employees Willing To Give Up Free Coffee, Paid Parking, And Even A Vacation Day, For Choice Of Mobile Device And Access To Apps In The Workplace”

Seriously, that was in the email subject line.

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