Mobile Competition

August 6th, 2009 at 9:57 am by David Farrar

I’m one of those with two – one on Telecom and one on Vodafone.  I have to say I have not found a huge variation in pricing between them, so it is good to have a third mobile phone company in the market.

Costs start at 22 cents per minute to call another customer, rising to 44 cents to call other mobiles, local landlines and a selection of international countries for the totally prepay offer.

Telecommunications Users Association head Ernie Newman said the prices were lower than he had anticipated.

“They certainly bear out what our organisation has been saying which is that New Zealanders have been paying absolutely over-the-top [prices] for mobile phones for a decade or more,” he said.

I was surprised when I was overseas that I can call New Zealand numbers cheaper from overseas that I can from my mobile in NZ.

I’ll be interested to hear from anyone who takes up with 2degrees, how they find it. Also will be interesting to see if Telecom and Vodafone change their pricing options in response to the new competitor.

Tags: ,

18 Responses to “Mobile Competition”

  1. wreck1080 (3,797 comments) says:

    Interconnect fees are a rort, as is the overall mobile market in NZ.

    These fees are effectively a base on which the telcos can make arguments to keep call prices high. In fact, I think this could be considered a criminal matter in some jurisdictions.

    I’m not sure people understand these fees.

    Effectively, one telco says to the other, i’ll bill you a 20 cent rate, if you bill me a 20c rate on your customers calls. This 20c rate gets added directly to the mobile users call cost. So, the 2 main competitors, have come close to conspiring on a price they will bill their customers.

    These fees need to be regulated to ensure that interconnect fees are charged as cost (or none at all). Then , telco pricing will be far more transparent and new entrants will have fewer entry barriers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. 3-coil (1,204 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t Phil Goff be too busy “leading” his beloved NZ Labour Party down in the polls, to be fronting all of those 2degrees TV advertisements?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Nigel (515 comments) says:

    Thank you Maurice Williamson, really appreciate how you never regulated the interconnect all those years ago, your foresight & planning directly led to where we are now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Monty (966 comments) says:

    I have a two degrees SIM card and a 022 2degrees number – I was pleased to be able to choose a number I liked. There is coverage all through Wellington as they have an extensive network built (over 100 sites in Wellington Region – with 2degreees coverage up as far as Waikanae and the top of Upper Hutt. Outside the coverage area I automatically move to the Vodafone network. There is no good reason to stay with Vodafone (or Telecom) now that the prices for 2degrees are so cheap with very good service. The Call centre has also been helpful.

    I look forward to many friends connecting up so that I can call them at 22 cents per minute. Landline calls at 22 cents is also very reasonable.

    I hope they take Vodafone and Telecom to the cleaners – they have been ripping us off for years.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. spector (180 comments) says:

    I’ve just switched to 2degrees and get twice as much coverage where I live now. I took my old vodafone 021 number with me so I don’t have to re-educate people about my new number. The only downside is I had to get a new handset as 2degrees doesn’t work properly on my blackberry – you can use voice and text but not data. The upside of that was I did some quick calculations and I got a brand new iphone (which does work on 2degrees) and will pay it off in six months with the savings I’m making on calls. How ridiculous is that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Matthew (167 comments) says:

    The reality is that the cost of running a third mobile network in NZ might be nice for you, but it isn’t normally profitable for the company.

    The only reason it has become possible is because 2 degrees have chosen a cheap Chinese military supplier for the entire network: Huawei. Not only are Huawei part of the Chinese military establishment but they also have strong links to Chinese intelligence. That is why the Indian government recently prevented Huawei from building a mobile network on the boders between India/Pakistan and India/China.

    Huawei are privately owned, have plagiarised the intellectual property of Western companies (e.g. Cisco), and have ongoing quality issues with their equipment globally. Just ask M1 in Singapore what their experience was.

    Both Telecom and Vodafone have interception capabilities on New Zealand subscribers but can only do that if a warrant is signed by a judge. I can be absolutely sure that no-one likes their calls being intercepted. By comparison, 2 degrees have given Huawei employees access to the network (and Huawei employees are recycled very quickly in NZ) and there is no oversight as to whether interception of phone calls and text messages will happen to you or not. It goes without saying that you cannot tell if you are. If you want cheaper calls then remember that nothing in life every really comes for free. My advice is to stay clear of this operator untill they have removed Huawei from their nework.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. jks (30 comments) says:

    @ Matthew

    2 Degrees are not the only mobile network using Huawei equipment, as a Vodafone mobile broadband customer the Vodem (usb modem) supplied to me is one manafactured by Huawei.

    A third mobile network is long overdue and I don’t think Vodafone or Telecom have huge brand loyalty or customer satisfaction so 2 degrees has great potential. The one thing they are lacking is something like Telecom’s $10 txt to attract younger customers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. starboard (2,489 comments) says:

    22 cents a minute…Im in. Vodafone and telecom have been reaming us up the rectum for years..but not anymore…and if the wongs wana listen in on my convo’s good luck to ‘em…they’ll soon get sick of all the 0900 calls…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Nigel (515 comments) says:

    @ Matthew

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/08/building_in_sur.html

    But that’s not the most serious misuse of a telecommunications surveillance infrastructure. In Greece, between June 2004 and March 2005, someone wiretapped more than 100 cell phones belonging to members of the Greek government — the prime minister and the ministers of defense, foreign affairs and justice.

    Ericsson built this wiretapping capability into Vodafone’s products, and enabled it only for governments that requested it. Greece wasn’t one of those governments, but someone still unknown — a rival political party? organized crime? — figured out how to surreptitiously turn the feature on.

    Forgive me, but I don’t feel my privacy is any safer with Vodafone’s network.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Matthew (167 comments) says:

    JKS, by network I mean network, not UE/MS. What you need to understand is that it is the power in the network that we should be concerned about; I am surprised that you are not more technologically literate.

    Starboard: you want the Chinese military and intelligence agencies listening in, then feel free to pay for that priviledge.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Matthew (167 comments) says:

    Nigel, yes that is wrong, and you are right. However, having worked for Ericsson, I know for a fact that this technology is enabled for all of their customers around the world. In other words, it is enabled for all governments regardless of whether they request it or not. Just ask any Ericsson employee what the MONTI MML command does.

    I agree that your privacy may not be safe on Vodafone, Telecom etc, but increasing your risks with the Chinese military is hardly a step in the right direction (as others, unlike you, seem to be blithely walking on by).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. annie (540 comments) says:

    The Chinese military are welcome to intercept the trite content of the texts that pass between me and my family.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Matthew (167 comments) says:

    Annie: I guess you don’t mind George Bush’s illegal wiretaps of American citizens. Really what you are advocating is it OK for Governments to listen in on people’s private communications. Sounds like you’ve just come from a failed Communist State, or don’t mind if we become one.

    On that basis, asking for your phone number and allowing me to listen in shouldn’t be a problem; or am I the enemy and the Chinese military your friends?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    Its bad enough paying some of the higher mobile calling prices in the world but I’d be happier if my Vodafone didnt drop 3 – 4 calls a day as well. They have no excuses now

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    Matthew So which company from which country who supplies the hardware for telecom companies can be trusted to have had no connections with their military ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    The only reason it has become possible is because 2 degrees have chosen a cheap Chinese military supplier for the entire network: Huawei

    This would be the same Huawei that builds Vodafone’s 3G/HSDPA ‘Vodem’ hardware, the one that was selected by Vodafone Group to supply their 30+ operating companies.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. H Stewart (29 comments) says:

    Yeah totally agree about overseas costs, I was in London a couple of years ago and my brother in law noticing my total inability to text gave me his old Nokia 6820a.

    ( Now this is an amazing little phone that folds out and has key board and I joined the texting world with gusto to the extent that I was out on the Gulf caught a large snapper and couldn’t help myself, I had to do the skite thing, salt spray and mobile phones are not a great combination. The consequence of this being that I now have a brand new Nokia 6810 a previous generation phone it is slightly bigger and doesn’t have a camera but has the fold out key board. I am very grateful to my brother in law again for tracking me one down. For some reason Nokia didn’t sell these phone in NZ and hs discontiued their production I gather. I think they would be suprised at the market potential these phones in the Generation X demographic ) OK rave over.

    I put a 10 pound pre-pay sim in the phone that had 10 pounds loaded on it ie. free sim. Price to call NZ 7 pence per minute and I think I was paying 2 pence for a text and that was the rate for pretty much the English speaking and European world with the exception of the British Isles where the price was 21 pence per minute. From this I can only conclude that time zones effect demand and this seems logical given my land line pricing. If you are going overseas take a second phone and see what deals you can get.
    I have signed up for a free sim from 2 Degrees and I think they are giving me $2 credit as well, but more importantly I have the same number on both networks. I have a spare phone to give to family and friends visiting from overseas that has a number we all know and hopefully 2 degrees will adopt a pricing system that benifts them if they want to call home while in NZ.
    With regard to Chinese military intelligence “Military intelligence has about as much to do with intelligence as military music has to do with music ” Hey I have no problem with them hearing me say ” hey fuck guys it”s a keeper, shit I love soft plastics and braid get my phone, I need a picture of this”.

    Mathew they are already here it is called joint venture fishing. I doubt that me catching a fish will do anything with regards to the joint venture fishing, the political situation and space exploration. Fishing is why they are here at our invitation phones are fun though

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    I have a HUAWEI modem on Australia’s 3 network and have had no problems with it. No quality control issues here, and once I lost my SIM after a trip to NZ and they (3) just replaced it straight away, no cost. There are also great deals over here incidentally – it costs me $7.50 per month for a 200 minute NZ call package (I am on a $29 cap which I rarely exceed for Aussie calls – gives me $129 worth of calls per month), compare that to 90-odd cents per minute to call within NZ on Vodafone, and even the most expensive, Telstra, only charge 50c per minute on prepay within Australia.
    Plus I have regional (voice and texting, not data) roaming onto the Telstra 3G network, so I have coverage across most of Australia.
    I hope it gets better over there soon, but I wouldn’t count my chickens.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.