As local loop unbundling (LLU) progresses in New Zealand, wireless giant Vodafone’s local unit launched its fixed line broadband service ‘red network’ yesterday. Vodafone says it has unbundled 50% of Auckland’s phone lines and installed its own DSL2+ equipment in local Telecom exchanges, and would have unbundled the whole city by the end of October. CEO Russell Stanners said that after Auckland, its red network would be extended to Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Rotorua and Taupo, and Wellington. South Island locations such as Christchurch and Dunedin would follow later.
Head of Marketing Mark Rushworth said, ‘All of the plans on the red network are unrestricted on upload and download. If demand outstripped capacity, more equipment could be rapidly installed.’ Customers within 300 metres of an exchange can expect download speeds of up to 50Mbps. Home phone line and broadband price plans start at NZD70 (USD53.7) a month with a 1GB download cap and increase to NZD90 a month with a 20GB cap. On average they are around NZD10 cheaper than equivalent Telecom plans. Orcon’s cheapest home phone line and broadband plan is NZD79 but does offer a 10GB cap. Rushworth also revealed that Vodafone planned to offer a naked DSL plan combined with a mobile contract available to consumers by Christmas.