A new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) has launched in New Zealand, targeting the 70% of the country’s 4.1 million cellular subscribers currently on pre-paid tariffs. The firm, Black+White, is offering pre-paid users lower tariffs, with chief executive Jonathon Eele saying that local mobile users are ‘fed up to the back teeth’ with having to choose between long-term contracts or paying high pre-pay rates. Black+White is the first of a number of MVNOs set to launch in New Zealand over the coming months, with Compass Communications, Orcon and CallPlus all preparing resale services. Meanwhile, mobile network operator Vodafone says it will offer its wholesale partners such as Black+White access to its 3G infrastructure. Vodafone’s announcement follows news from rival Telecom New Zealand that it will not be allowing wholesale partners access to its own 850MHz W-CDMA 3G network until 2011 at the earliest.
Separately, New Zealand’s police force has called on the government to force all pre-paid mobile phone users to register their details on a central database. The police say the measure would prevent the use of mobile phones in criminal activities.