Vodafone signs up 'huge' influx of XT defectors

By Kelly Gregor

Photo / Herald on Sunday
Photo / Herald on Sunday

Vodafone says it has has received a "huge" influx of customers from Telecom in the wake of its rival's XT dramas.

Although the figures will not be released until the group compiles its annual report for its global operations, spokesman Paul Brislen told the Herald the number who had come over to Vodafone was huge.

Vodafone has more than half the mobile market in New Zealand, and says 70 per cent of customers are on prepay.

"There has been a massive swing of XT refugees to Vodafone, especially from the South Island and from business customers," Brislen said.

Telecom spokeswoman Rebecca Earl accepted that the past few months had been challenging for those affected by the XT outages but in spite of that customers were daily signing up to XT plans.

Earl said Telecom had been humbled by the loyalty shown by many of its XT customers.

At the end of last year, Telecom had 467,000 connections on XT. How much the network has lost or gained will be announced on May 7 in its quarterly briefing.

Telecom would not release these figure to the Herald, citing commercial sensitivity.

Vodafone yesterday started a new mobile offensive - the Talk campaign - offering Supa Prepay customers 200 minutes on its network and to any New Zealand landline for $12 a month.

General manager of marketing Kursten Shalfoon said customers could expect to see more deals as the competition between the mobile companies continued to heat up.

Shalfoon said Vodafone had predicted that calls over its network would increase through the Talk campaign and the network has been scaled accordingly.

In February new mobile player 2degrees announced it had 206,000 customers. Of those, 65,000 brought their old numbers with them.

Chief commercial officer Bill McCabe said 80 per cent of those customers had transferred their numbers from Vodafone to 2degrees.

McCabe said the reason why so many Vodafone customers brought their old numbers to 2degrees was because both companies operated on GSM networks - global system mobile - where as Telecom used two networks, CDMA and XT - a GSM-based network.

McCabe said 2degrees wanted mobile termination rates regulated to ensure a level playing field.

Vodafone and Telecom are against regulation where a commercial solution is possible.

McCabe said that keeping standard rates high across networks for voice and text allowed Vodafone and Telecom to offer very competitive deals on networks, which created a community of users.

- NZ Herald

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