Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Mobile Broadband "battle" getting Lukewarm...

As launch date for Telecom's new 3G network approaches in New Zealand, major rival Vodafone is finally sharpening up its mobile broadband offerings. Telecom's "T-Day" launch is set down for early June, although there are rumours the company is considering bringing that launch date forward.

Vodafone says its 3G network currently covers 70% of the population... although the actual geographical 3G coverage is quite woeful, particularly in the South Island and central North Island.

The company had been planning a long term programme of 3G expansion (as in by mid-2010), but fast-tracked this following Telecom's T-Day announcement.

Vodafone says its 3G mobile broadband coverage will be extended to "97% of places New Zealanders live, work, and play" by the end of May. (They better get a move on, as that's just 5 weeks away!)

Telecom's network promises to cover a similar 97% figure... Of course, with both companies that doesn't actually translate to 97% of the country, and rural users will still find themselves with super-slow connections (if anything at all).

The company's newest mobile broadband deal is the 'Broadband Surfer' package, which offers a solid 512MB of data for $40/month.

Vodafone's recently released 'Broadband Lite' package offers 100MB for $10/month, or a casual rate of $1 a day for up to 10MB. Currently the new packages are only available to Prepay users (go figure?), but will apparently be available to On Account customers in a few weeks time.

Telecom is hoping its 3G launch will help it attract a larger share of the more profitable business customers and heavy users market.

NBR reports that Telecom currently has a 47% share of the mobile phone market in New Zealand, but only 35% of the revenue (thanks to the huge number of teens using cheapo deals like $10 text).

* NBR - Vodafone’s stream of pre-T Day deals continues

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