Australian telco eyeing NZ

Too early to discuss plans yet, Macquarie says

There are indications Australia's Macquarie Telecom is considering entering the New Zealand market.

Computerworld understands a New Zealand organisation has recently been offered a deal by Macquarie that compares favourably with other proposals from Telecom and TelstraClear and that Macquarie's director of strategy, Maha Krishnapillai, visited New Zealand last week.

Macquarie marketing manager Denis Rowe says Macquarie "has some investigations" going in New Zealand, but it would be "premature to discuss our plans".

Macquarie already has several clients who operate in Australia and New Zealand, including Freedom Furniture and paint supplier Wattyl.

Also indicating an interest in New Zealand is that Macquarie made a submission to the Ministry of Economic Development in February regarding the ministry's investigation into local loop unbundling and the fixed public data network.

In the submission, Macquarie national regulatory manager Matt Healy said, referring the Commerce Commission's December 23 report recommending against unbundling, that "New Zealand's regulatory regime will be out of step with the other regulated jurisdictions if the Commerce Commission's recommendations are adopted."

In Australia, he said, "Macquarie is, in many ways, an archetypal successful 'new entrant' that has been able to bring forward the benefits of competition to end-users hitherto captured by monopoly providers.

"In achieving these outcomes, we have required strong regulatory oversight."

Macquarie provides voice and data services to corporate clients in Australia and last month announced its intentions to build the Macquarie Telecom Metro Access network, an "intelligent service fabric" network linking Australia's state capitals.

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