Vodafone tells court Telecom knew of rogue cell emissions

Vodafone has told the High Court Telecom should be stopped from rolling out its new mobile phone network next week, as it will cause interference to Vodafone customers.

Vodafone is asking for an interim injunction at the High Court at Auckland today, saying Telecom had not fitted its new transmitters with filters which would prevent interference to Vodafone customers.

The new Telecom network was due to be launched on May 13, having twice been brought forward.

Vodafone's lawyer Julian Miles told Justice Geoffrey Venning that Telecom knew its transmitters were producing rogue emissions within allotted frequencies for other providers.

Miles said emissions made in recent months while Telecom tested its transmitters had already caused dropped calls and difficulty in making calls.

He said this could be dangerous given that many emergency calls were made on Vodafone mobiles.

Vodafone has cited the case of a police officer in Mangakino switching service because he could not get through on its network.

Given that the testing was only carried out at 15 to 20 per cent of the transmitters' power, the interference would be much greater after the May 13 launch, said Miles.

Telecom's lawyer Pheroze Jagose began presenting his submission before lunch, focusing on the technical side of the new network. He said there was always likely to be emissions "spilling" outside the Telecom frequencies, but this had been well within acceptable limits.

Vodafone is arguing that Telecom knew its 530 transmitters were causing problems and so it had brought forward its launch date hoping its competitors would not try to stop it and then negotiate afterwards.

"Vodafone has no difficulty competing with Telecom on an even playing field," Miles said.

"What we say is that the playing field has been altered illegally, knowingly, and deliberately, and an interim injunction is required."

Vodafone only sought to delay the launch, not stop it. It wants filters fitted across the Telecom network before the new system is launched - filters it says the Government warned Telecom would be needed.

The case is proceeding.

-NZPA/NZ HERALD STAFF/NEWSALK ZB

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