by Jane Lee and Jonathan Swan for BRISBANE TIMES
“The deal is a natural one, bringing together TelstraClear’s fixed telecommunications and data products and corporate client-base with Vodafone New Zealand’s mobile offering and retail customer base.” - David Thodey, Chief Executive Officer, Telstra
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Vodafone NZ is set to buy TelstraClear, a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary of Australia’s telecom company, Telstra. The $840 million deal is expected to compete with New Zealand’s own Telecom, setting up a challenge to the latter companies domination of the local market.
Almost 50% of the current NZ market relies on Telecom’s services. With the latest development, Vodafone NZ, which is a subsidiary of British telecom giant Vodafone PLC, is set to acquire TelstraClear’s voice and data services, along with its network infrastructure and customers. The acquisition may also serve as a precursor for the roll-out of high-speed broadband in the country. Neighboring Australia has already made headway in its own National Broadband Network Project.
The current customers of TelstraClear have been assured of service continuity with the acquisition. Fixed wireless communication services and data products will also be provided upon the deal’s regulatory approval.
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The Commerce Commission today released its 2011 telecommunications annual monitoring report.
“Most notably we’ve seen a fall in market concentration in all sectors which indicates that competition is becoming more intense. Consumers are being offered a more diverse range of competitively priced services, often bundled together in one package,” said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner.
VODAFONE has hatched a new plan to tackle its chronic network problems, striking a deal with rival Optus to jointly build hundreds of new mobile phone stations.
The deal is certain to attract the scrutiny of the competition watchdog as the nation’s second-biggest telco, Optus, teams up with the third-largest, Vodafone, to challenge the dominant player Telstra.
Under Vodafone’s expanded network joint venture launched this morning, the telco will access around 400 Optus base station sites, with the two telcos set to build 500 more shared sites over the next four years.
Vodafone’s recently installed chief executive Bill Morrow, who came on board in March to restore the company’s battered reputation, said the deal showed the telco was listening to customers.
Newcastle is set to become a fresh battleground for mobile subscribers as rival carriers launch next-generation networks in the NSW Hunter region city, according to analysts.
Optus is set to unveil its first Long Term Evolution network in the area this week, using the city - along with the Hunter Valley and stretching north to Port Stephens - as a testbed for the nascent technology.
Its network, built on Huawei technology, will boast speeds of up to 40 Mbps download - more than five times the theoretical speeds available with Optus today - and potentially more reliable coverage.
Despite seemingly successful trials, however, Optus has kept all details on pricing, devices and availability outside of “April 2012” close to its chest