Telecom New Zealand chief executive Simon Moutter has suggested that the sale of domestic rival TelstraClear to Vodafone last week has opened the door for his company to work more productively with TelstraClear’s former owner, Australian carrier Telstra. In an interview with Stuff.co.nz, Moutter admitted that he was unsure whether Telstra had left the New Zealand market for good, saying: ‘Forever is a big word – I really don’t know’. Earlier this week the Commerce Commission clarified that a clause preventing Telstra from re-entering the local market for an as-yet-undisclosed period of time had survived its regulatory scrutiny and remained in the final agreement between the two parties.
Going forward, Moutter expects to meet with Telstra chief executive David Thodey in the next couple of months, saying that TelstraClear’s sale created ‘a new possibility for us to work more productively with Telstra in Australia. We have the same mobile network technology, for example. It opens the door to a more productive and more ‘Australasian’ view of opportunities. I am looking for our company to challenge and solve the problem of how the global roaming markets work for our customers so we make the best use of this great technology which does allow people to cross borders’. Previously, Moutter admitted, the fact that TelstraClear competed with Telecom in the New Zealand consumer market had subconsciously inhibited cooperation. ‘It always makes it tougher to do sensible things,’ he added.