Telecom wants to know where you really live.
The telco is geo-coding its entire directory database, which gets around the anonymity of 0800 and cellphone prefixes. In essence, geo-coding will enable Telecom to relate numbers to geographical regions.
The official reasons for the move, according to communications spokesman Margaret Stapleton, are to overcome modern problems such as:
• What is a directory boundary? (traditionally a local call area).
• The need to introduce local directories. (One has been introduced for the Kapiti Coast, in the past in the Wellington directory.) These will be subsets of the main directories.
Stapleton says the new policy will enable Telecom to serve local communities of interest, as well as save money on production by delivering the appropriately sized directory to a specific area.
“We’ll also be able to sell advertising around the directories,” she says.
It seems most logical, though, that there is money to be made by on-selling specific area marketing information. That would fit well with profiles of people being developed by banks and other commercial organisations.
Stapleton says on-selling the information “is a consideration”.
Critchlow & Associates has won the geo-mapping business with its MapInfo GIS product.
Stapleton confirms that work is under way and is likely to be completed with the next 12 months. She won’t comment on how much Telecom is spending on the project.