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  • Telstra separation announced on Thursday?

    The eerie quiet that has descended over the once very public stoush between the Australian Federal Government and Telstra could be the clearest indication yet that a deal on the separation of the telco is close at hand.

  • Cunliffe rejects Telecom separation plan

    Communications and information technology minister David Cunliffe has notified Telecom that he will not approve the company's Amended Separation Plan, citing executive incentive payments as a dealbreaker.

  • FryUp: No, minister?

    — No, minister?
    — Woo$h
    No, minister?
    Close, but no unlimited performance-incentive cigar for Telecom Wholesale. That's in essence Communications Minister David Cunliffe's reasoning for rejecting Telecom's Amended Separation Plan.
    Cunliffe says that he was swayed by public submissions to the Amended Plan, and says that while Telecom's revised undertakings came close to meeting his Amending Determination, a few areas of undertakings still need clarification. Right. And so the rusty wheels of bureaucracy grind on ... Telecom now has until March 25 to sort out its amended operational separation plan so that it pleases the minister.
    Separation Day was supposed to be March 31, on which date Telecom's undertakings become legally binding and enforceable. I see however that there's a "tbc" next to that date in Cunliffe's latest release, which presumably means "to be confirmed". That, and Cunliffe now being "hopeful" that Telecom will respond quickly so that "we may" still be able to meet the March 31 date, points to the separation plan time-table sliding.
    I'm wondering if we'll see any real unbundling action until 2009 at the earliest. i haven't had official confirmation of it yet, but I am told that Telecom has gone through all it's budgeted capex money for the current fiscal year already. If that's the case, unbundling progress could slow down even further. Would anyone from Telecom be able to enlighten FryUp on this, please?
    — Cunliffe rejects Telecom separation plan
    Woo$h!
    If you had a business that lost money — a good chunk'o'change, like millions of dollars — and it did so year after year, would you still carry on operating it? Moreover, would you expect others to invest in it, and lend the business loadsamoney to carry on?
    Common sense dictates that the answer to the above is an emphatic "no". However, I must be missing something subtly clever because Woosh the wireless provider carries on losing money, yet is able to raise capital with apparent ease.
    Last year, Woosh lost over $21 million, despite a 77% revenue surge. That didn't deter shareholders, who continued to prop up Woosh to the tune of $48 million in new equity, and $12 million in loans. In November and December last year, some overseas entities called Baytik SPC and Clarity Partners handed Woosh US$3.225 million and NZ$4.2 million. The money can be converted into equity, with four shares for each US$. With some 314 million shares issued, it would seem Baytik and Clarity Partners have taken quite a stake in Woosh. Clarity has been investor in Woosh for a while now.
    The accumulated deficit for Woosh is $117.36 million, according to the accounts, and there's over $89 million in tax losses that can be offset against future assessable income.
    It looks like Mercury Telecommunications, aka the internet provider Quicksilver, cost Woosh $2.918 million to buy. If, as was said, at the time Quicksilver had 10,000 customers, Woosh paid $291.80 per capita.
    Figures apart, Woosh says it's placing its hopes on WiMax rather than betting on local loop unbundling taking place. This sort of sensible, but depends on WiMax taking off overseas so that Woosh has access to cheap, mass-produced equipment; also, Woosh needs radio spectrum to build a WiMax network, and it'll be interesting to see if the company jumps into bed with another wireless provider to supplement the 35MHz of 2.3GHz spectrum it got in the recent auction. Persistent rumours point to Callplus and Woosh merging soon, but there are others too, like Craig Wireless with WiMax spectrum.
    Where's the technology roadmap for Woosh though? Should the company go down the WiMax route, what will happen to existing customers using the UMTS 3G broadband service? If there's no future in local loop unbundling, what will Woosh do with its 10,000 fixed-line broadband customers that came from Quicksilver?
    — Challenging year' sees Woosh raise more capital
    — Clarity Partners LP
    "Woosh Wireless is a New Zealand based broadband wireless telecommunications service provider that has a national UMTS spectrum license and is targeting both small and medium sized enterprises as well as residential customers. Partners in Woosh Wireless include Todd Capital and Vodafone New Zealand."
    XKCD

  • EU to adopt ambitious telecom rule reforms on Tuesday

    Reforms to the European Union's telecoms rules due Tuesday mark the most ambitious attempt yet to shape a single market out of 27 national telecoms markets in the EU, and could pave the way for a revolution in the way radio spectrum is allocated in the Union.

  • Government unveils Telecom separation blueprint

    Communications Minister David Cunliffe has released the Government's long-awaited separation determination that will form the blueprint for the split of Telecom New Zealand into three operational units.

  • ‘Retail-minus’ approach haunts Telco Bill

    As you would expect, the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee reported back to the house a very long and detail Telecommunications Amendment Bill. It's 143 pages worth of deliberations — some good, others showing too much desire to compromise and rely on the mythical power of commercial arrangements.

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