Clear restructures on Telecom's heels

Following Telecom's restructuring at the start of last week, Clear Communications announced one of its own to 'better focus on customers'.

Following Telecom’s restructuring at the start of last week, Clear Communications announced one of its own to “better focus on customers”.

“We want to accelerate growth by 20% year on year and I expect to reach a target of $500 million turnover in 18 to 24 months,” says chief executive Peter Kaliaropoulos, who's been in the job since September.

The new structure will divide Clear into four business units (wireless, wholesale, business solutions and mass markets) which could, in time, be spun off into separate businesses.

“That’s not our intention at this stage but it will help us focus our resources more effectively.”

The bulk of Clear’s earnings are expected to come from the wholesale, wireless and business divisions. These units will be supported by six service units covering functions like HR and finance.

“There will be no lay-offs from the restructure — in fact, quite the opposite. We’re in a period of growth that saw us add 39 people last month,” Kaliaropoulos says. There are two notable departures, however; network director Ken Benson, who joined Clear from Telecom in March last year, is going as is sales director Ted Watson.

Clear's move into wireless communications, specifically cellular telephony, will depend on the outcome of the government’s spectrum auction and whether Clear can secure a chunk of the spectrum. Clear’s latest bidding tactic is to only go after one 10 MHz slot rather than 15 MHz as Telecom is.

“We’ve discussed it with our technical people and we’re confident that is the way forward.” Kaliaropoulos won’t divulge Clear’s plans for the spectrum or who it would partner with, except to say it has a number of options ranging from building its own infrastructure to partnering with another telco.

“Put it this way, the planning is out of the way and we are ready to move as soon as the auction finishes.” Kaliaropoulos says Clear could launch a commercial offering within 6 to 9 months of the end of the auction.

Telecom, for its part, last week restructured into six division: two in New Zealand, two in Australia and two (mobile and internet) spanning the Tasman.

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