NZ's third mobile operator launches

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

New Zealand's newest mobile operator, 2degrees, launched services yesterday with a focus on cheap prepaid rates.

The operator has set its prepaid calling rates at NZ$0.44 (0.29) per minute, and SMS at NZ$0.09 each.

These prices are half of those offered by its competitors Vodafone and Telecom NZ, but those companies offer bundled services - such as an NZ$10 infinite text plan.

2degrees, however, is touting the lack of such offers as an advantage. “The other networks offer all sorts of complicated prepaid bundles, on and off-net prices, and special offers. These can be difficult to understand and make it hard to work out the cost of many calls,” the company said.  

The offering also lacks 3G data, data cards or BlackBerry support, with EDGE data browsing charged at NZ$0.50 per minute. 2degrees supports number portability, and will give users who make the switch NZ$5 of credit.

The network launched with seven Nokia and two Samsung handsets, available at 340 stores, with top-up cards available in 2,500 locations.

The company intends to open its own storefronts in the future, New Zealand's National Business Review said, and may subsequently introduce post-paid options and data plans.

2degrees changed ownership last month, after US-based investment firm Trilogy upped its stake from 26% to a controlling 52%. Trilogy appointed US industry veteran Eric Hurst to helm the company.

 

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