Econet to resume roaming talks with Vodafone

9 May 2005

Econet Wireless says it is ready to resume negotiations with UK-based Vodafone Group to secure 2G roaming rights on the company’s New Zealand network. The company’s project manager Tex Edwards confirmed Econet’s intentions to enter the 3G mobile market, saying ‘the technology path is more certain, we have secured our funding situation and we’re ready to move forward’. The start-up has drawn widespread criticism for its failure to make any headway in the domestic market. It originally planned to build a network in 2001, but now admits its announcement was premature. In 2001/02 it failed to negotiate a roaming deal with Vodafone and has since been reluctant to court the press. Econet Wireless needs to have a 2G roaming agreement in place while it finishes its network rollout. It is looking to deploy a W-CDMA system, meaning it has to align itself with Vodafone, which also favours the technology.

New Zealand, Two Degrees Mobile (2degrees)