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Special deal for Telecom roamers

Date: 4/16/2008 1:26:44 PM

The Australian Government said it would let Telstra close its old CDMA mobile phone network from April 28.

Unlike Vodafone mobiles, standard Telecom mobiles are not compatible with other existing mobile networks in Australia.

In January, the Australian Government gave Telecom a threemonth reprieve when it forced Telstra to postpone the networks closure.

The shutdown will prevent Telecom prepaid customers with CDMAonly phones from using their phones in Australia.

Onaccount customers who do not already have a WorldMode phone capable of connecting with both Telecoms existing CDMA network and second generation networks, will need to upgrade their phones or borrow WorldMode phones from Telecom if they go to Australia.

Telecom said it had been running a customer communications campaign since last year, focusing on customers who have roamed in the past two years, and offering special phone upgrade deals.

Spokeswoman Katherine Murphy said the most regular roamers have been offered free WorldMode phones.

Telecom has kiosks at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports where its customers can buy or borrow a WorldMode phone.

As a last resort, customers who arrive in Australia without a WorldMode phone can buy a phone from network operator Optus, on which they can use their Telecom number.

Telecom is building a new $300 million WCDMA network, which will be compatible with Australias networks. It is expected to be operating in November.

Telecom acting chief executive of retail Simon Moutter told analysts at a briefing last week that he expected that the companys contingency plans and its range of four WorldMode devices would help the company "ride out the period where we have a poor roaming proposition to Australia".

Chief executive Paul Reynolds has described his inherited CDMA network as a dead end for the company.

At the analysts briefing, he said: "Weve got to get out of this CDMA culdesac."

The new network would allow the company to offer new services and devices.

"And, finally, our ability to address the really lucrative international roaming revenues which Telecom New Zealand is currently virtually out of."

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Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4483376a13.html


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