According to InfoNews.co.nz New Zealand mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) CallPlus and Slingshot have confirmed their intentions to abandon their existing MVNO deals with Vodafone New Zealand, and instead offer virtual network services over Telecom New Zealand’s ‘XT’-branded W-CDMA network. Mark Callander, CEO of the CallPlus Group, which includes Slingshot, said that the decision was motivated by the need to ensure that the firm’s business and residential arms were capable of providing its customers with a mobile service that keeps pace with technology and innovation in the wireless sector, whilst maintaining price competitiveness. Callander commented: ‘This decision allows both brands the flexibility to offer customers great value and a compelling mobile proposition in all market segments, including prepay, residential, SME and corporate. The use of smartphones has grown dramatically in the last couple of years and they are now an essential tool for many people. The Telecom network is designed for smartphones and moving mobile data around the country at ultra-fast speeds. We have some big ambitions for driving growth in mobile services over the next few years and we believe the Telecom Wholesale team is the right partner to help us achieve these goals. Our aim is to make the move as seamless as possible for our customers and we believe that once they experience the benefits of the Telecom mobile network they will be pleased we made the decision to change’. CallPlus and Slingshot will be contacting all of their respective wireless customers in the coming weeks to explain the technicalities of the transition to the Telecom Network.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, despite indicating that it would not allow other operators to offer services over its W-CDMA network until at least 2011, in July 2010 Telecom Wholesale launched its own 3G MVNO provisioning service a year earlier than expected. The first companies to ink deals with the incumbent were business-centric operators Digital Island and Zintel Cogent and Australian franchise TelcoInABox.