Seamless, automatic trans-Tasman mobile phone roaming is being promised as a result of Telecom's new roaming agreement on Telstra's Australia's CDMA network.
The deal represents the most significant yet of the capability gains Telecom hopes to get out of its migration to CDMA.
It "paves the way to provide automatic seamless trans-Tasman roaming for Telecom CDMA customers at launch," according to Lorraine Witten, Telecom's general manager mobile networks.
"After the launch of CDMA, Telecom Mobile customers will be able to access many of the services they use in New Zealand, using their own CDMA phone and 027 number."
Witten says more than 70% of the demand for roaming services is for travel to Australia, but roaming agreements have also been signed with Canada's Bell Mobility, USA's Sprint PCS, Hong Kong's Hutchison (Orange) and Australia's Hutchison (Orange) who operate a CDMA network in Sydney and Melbourne. Telecom Mobile is currently negotiating several more roaming agreements.
After it first withdrew its AAPT subsidiary from Australian spectrum auctions and then cancelled AAPT's own CDMA rollout, Telecom's mobile future in Australia has been linked to a possible deal with Hutchison.
Telecom says its New Zealand CDMA network is on track for launch in the middle of this year.