2degrees has become the first company to gain 'Consumer Trusted Accreditation' from Consumer New Zealand, a new programme which recognises excellent customer service.
Consumer NZ CEO Sue Chetwin says the new Consumer Trusted programme has been developed specifically to deliver high standards of customer service and consumer confidence.
"Our Consumer Trusted programme is a visible way of rewarding businesses with genuinely top-class customer service. 2degrees is one of the first companies to gain this accreditation as it has clearly demonstrated it lives up to all of our key principles when it comes to providing service above and beyond the Consumer Guarantees Act."
To gain accreditation, 2degrees underwent a rigorous analysis process across all parts of the business to ensure it met every aspect of the programme's eight key guiding principles.
These principles include:
2degrees Chief Marketing Officer Malcolm Phillipps says the company is proud to be a selected as one of the first Kiwi businesses to be part of the programme.
"Our core focus has always been to ensure our customers get great service and value for money. Being part of the Consumer Trusted Programme is a great opportunity for us as it reinforces our commitment to putting our customers first," he says.
"Our challenge now is to continue delivering to the high standards we set ourselves as well as those of the programme to ensure our customers get the best service possible and feel confident they're dealing with a market leader."
To celebrate the launch of 2degrees' 4G network in central Auckland, 2degrees and ZM will be dropping a massive 4G worth of cash and prizes each day for three days across multiple central Auckland locations where 2degrees now have 4G coverage.
There will also be drops in other areas of New Zealand where 4G will be coming soon.
Starting today, 'The Drops' will be made in secret and marked on a map hosted on ZM's website, giving a 1km radius or 'Drop Zone' for listeners to begin their search. More detailed clues will be released on air throughout the day and promoted by the ZM radio crew, on social media and ZM's website. Once each drop is found another will be immediately released until the 4G of cash and prizes is all gone for that day. 'The 4G Drop' will run on the 7th, 9th and 11th of July.
2degrees began its journey into fourth generation mobile with 72 4G sites in central Auckland last week. 2degrees will launch its 4G network in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch by the end of the year. The first person to find "the drop" gets it. Some conditions apply to claiming cash prizes.
For more information on our 4G network - go to 2degreesmobile.co.nz/4G
2degrees is redefining how kiwis use their mobiles across the Tasman by launching New Zealand's lowest casual roaming rates in Australia*.
From today, all 2degrees' Pay Monthly and Business customers can use their mobiles across the Tasman without hesitation with 2degrees' 10/10/10 plan - where customers pay only 10 cents per minute for calls within Australia and to New Zealand, 10 cents per text and 10 cents per MB of data.
In addition, 2degrees will also be launching Australian 7-day data roaming packs for all 2degrees customers (including Prepay) later this month. Packs include 300MB for $10 or 500MB for $15.
Chief Marketing Officer Malcolm Phillipps says 2degrees created competition in Trans-Tasman roaming in 2011 when it halved the cost of data roaming rates and these new rates mean customers no longer have to worry about using their mobile when visiting Australia.
"We know that people are still cautious when it comes to using their mobiles in Australia and often turn them off or only use them when they have access to WiFi. We want to change that by making roaming simple and affordable." he says.
"More than 70% of the travel by Kiwis is to Australia so we have focused our attention on roaming across the Tasman first. Whether it's the basics of calls, texts or emails, using social media or searching online, customers can now roam in Australia without the fear of bill shock when they return.
Mr Phillipps says 2degrees customers can go about their daily business in Australia just like they would at home.
"We've looked at our customer's average daily mobile usage in New Zealand and using our new Australian roaming rates, it would cost $3.84 per day for our Business customers and $3.69 per day for our Pay Monthly customers to do the same things in Australia they do here in an average day.
The launch of our new 7-day data packs later this month will also mean customers can use data for an effective rate of only 3cents/MB when in Australia and they have an entire week to use it.
Our 10/10/10 proposition means we now have New Zealand's lowest casual roaming rates in Australia and our customers are fully in control."
Mr Phillipps says 2degrees' new roaming rates will automatically be applied to all Pay Monthly and Business customers when they land in Australia as long as roaming is enabled on their device.
*Claim based on a comparison between 2degrees Pay Monthly/Business standard casual Australian roaming rates and those equivalent rates advertised by all other NZ mobile roaming operators as at 7 July 2014.
2degrees’ journey into fourth generation mobile has been unleashed with the launch of 4G in central Auckland today.
All 2degrees customers with 4G compatible devices¹ will get faster mobile connectivity and the ability to do more than ever on the 2degrees 4G network in central Auckland.
Dubbed the next generation network, 4G can theoretically deliver data speeds of up to 150Mbps – more than 10 times faster than standard 3G connections.
2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says switching 4G on today marks another major milestone in the company’s history.
“In less than five years, we have built a national 2G, 3G, boosted 3G, HSPA+ network and now the next generation of connectivity has arrived at full throttle for our customers. We know our customers have been waiting for 4G and now is the right time to deliver it to them,” he says.
With the rise in connectivity and exploding demand for data services like video, music streaming, online access and mobile gaming, 4G is now an enabler that opens up a whole new world of opportunity for our customers.”
Mr Sherriff says the launch of 4G is slightly ahead of schedule in Auckland given the seamless installation and success of the trial.
“Our trial showcased 4G at its finest, recording some outstanding download and upload speeds. Whilst it will be difficult to maintain these speeds as more customers connect to the network, we believe our network is ready and up there with the world’s best performing 4G networks.”
Access to 2degrees’ 4G network will be at no additional cost and will operate with all existing 2degrees customer’s current data allocations.
Mr Sherriff says given the speed and capabilities of 4G, the company has taken steps to ensure customers still remain in control.
“The beauty of 4G means people can potentially download things in seconds – but that can also chew through data. We recently introduced ‘Worry-free data which warns people first that they are nearing their limit and then puts a hard stop on their accounts when they reach their data limit to ensure customers stay fully in control. Customers will then need to add an additional data pack.”
2degrees customers can also keep track of their data usage via the 2degrees app and can also activate ‘Spend Control’ to set a spend limit to ensure there are no surprises.”
The majority of 4G compatible devices bought from 2degrees will automatically connect to the 2degrees 4G network from 30th June. A small number of devices bought from other operators or suppliers will require a software upgrade which is likely to be carried out by the manufacturers by mid-July.
4G speeds will vary depending on handset, location etc.
2degrees is about to begin a WiFi trial in central Wellington, which will give a select group of 2degrees customers unlimited WiFi data for free.
2degrees has partnered with CityLink and will invite around 20,000 Wellington¿based 2degrees customers to take part in the three-month trial from today, Thursday June 5th.
2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says the partnership is quite different to other existing mobile WiFi offerings in New Zealand.
"This trial gives customers commercial-free WiFi access across a concentrated geographical area of the Wellington CBD rather than just random "hotspots" that people need to be in very close proximity to," says Mr Sherriff.
"Working with an established provider like CityLink who already has a WiFi presence across the Wellington CBD makes a potential commercial offering a lot easier to establish. If the trial is successful, it has the potential to be used as a blueprint for 2degrees' WiFi offerings in other parts of the country.
City Link CEO Nick Willis says, "Wi-Fi has matured into a piece of core infrastructure for businesses, transport and event centres, universities, telecommunication companies and cities. CityLink is delighted to be able to provide this scale of Wi-Fi services to 2degrees for their trial."
"CityLink has the most used Public Wi-Fi in the country on cbdfree Wellington with 75000 unique monthly users, and is best positioned to provide plug and play solutions for high quality Wi-Fi Zones anywhere in New Zealand," says Mr Willis.
Stewart Sherriff says the trial is a chance to explore the potential benefits WiFi can provide to not only its customers, but also its network.
"With exponential data growth on our network every year, WiFi is becoming a logical option for mobile networks to explore further," he says.
"Conceptually, we already understand the benefits WiFi can provide, but this trial will give us valuable insight into how it can augment our network, influence data traffic patterns and, most importantly, how it can provide additional value to our customers." he says.
2degrees customers involved in the trial will be given a password specific to their device which is valid for three months.
2degrees says it expects to make a decision on the viability of WiFi as a commercial service later in the year.
The 2degrees and CityLink WiFi perimeter includes: The Wellington Golden Mile and beyond extending from Courtenay Place, Manners Street, Willis Street, Lambton Quay, Waterloo Quay, Customhouse Quay, Jervois Quay, Cable Street and important landmarks like Westpac Stadium, Wellington Railway Station, Wellington Cable Car Terminals, Wellington Zoo, ASB Sports Centre, TSB Arena.
With Kiwis ever-increasing demand for mobile data, 2degrees latest product, ¿Worry-Free Data' means Pay Monthly and Business customers never have to worry about data bill shock again.
2degrees has found more and more Kiwis are changing the way they use their smartphones because they're worried about mobile data usage. Latest research shows over half of smartphone users have some level of concern about unexpected data charges. (See graph below). Just under half of customers who have experienced unexpected charges said it was as a result of data overuse.*
'Worry-free data', launching today, gives customers advance warning when they are nearing their data limit and once reached, data use is halted until customers buy an additional value pack putting them in complete control of their spend. Value packs start from $5 for 100MB, which provides an effective rate of just 5c/MB.
2degrees Chief Marketing Officer Malcolm Phillipps says 'Worry-Free Data' now puts customers in full control of their mobile spend.
"With over 80% of Kiwis with smartphones saying they never leave home without it and 65% spending more than two hours a day on it**, smartphones are an integral part of people's daily lives. With this, we have unfortunately seen some customers still being caught out by unexpected casual data charges. So we are doing something about it."
"'Worry-Free Data' puts a complete stop to overage and gives our customers surety and the confidence that they can use their mobiles anywhere in New Zealand within their budget parameters without the fear of unexpected charges ever again. It's just the right thing to do and especially important as smartphone ownership continues to grow and we get ready to launch our 4G network this year."
'Worry-Free Data' is automatically available to all Pay Monthly and Business customers from today, 27th May 2014.
Find it hard to imagine life without your smartphone? Well consumer research shows you're not alone as new survey results from 2degrees give a glimpse into the changing lifestyle habits of Kiwis and their smartphones.
2degrees last month conducted a survey via Facebook of 357 smartphone users to find out more about the emerging smartphone habits of Kiwis. The results pointed to mobiles becoming a key part of people's lives with 85% of respondents agreeing that having a smartphone had changed the way they lived their day-to-day life and 82% saying they would never leave home without their smartphone.
So how many devices do Kiwis have already? 99% of respondents have at least two wireless networked devices (eg. a mobile phone and a tablet or laptop). Breaking that down, 42% of respondents have one mobile phone and one tablet, 24% of respondents have three devices. The survey's most connected respondent had 12 devices connected to the internet.
In addition almost 60% said they spent more time on their phone compared to six months ago and 65% spend more than two hours a day on their smartphone.
Voice calling and Maps/Navigation were the most commonly used features on smartphones with Facebook the most popular social network, used by 93% of respondents, with 36% checking Facebook more than 10 times a day.
When it comes to returning calls, most Kiwis prefer to keep their partner happy above others when given a scenario of four missed calls from their boss, Mum, partner and friend, and asked which they'd return first. 55% rated their partner, 23% rated their Mum, 20% rated their boss with only 2% saying their friend.
The research comes as global experts predict that by 2020 we'll all have 5-10 connected/networked devices ¿ from glasses to watches, to shoes, to cars, with some speculating as many as 100 billion devices world-wide. 2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says: "It's all about IOT or ¿Internet of Things' right now, which is adding connectivity and intelligence to just about every device. 2020 may sound a way off but 'wearable technology' is already here, we're already selling smartwatches in every one of our 2degrees stores on high streets nationwide. Globally, 64 million smartwatches are expected to be sold by 2016 and forecasts are that the ¿Internet of Things' will become a multi-billion dollar industry."
84% of respondents were aged between 18-50 years old.
Today's Commerce Commission announcement that mobile competition is not delivering for business and on account customers dispels the myth that New Zealand's mobile market is competitive ¿ and now it's time to find out why.
2degrees Chief Executive Stewart Sherriff says the Annual Telecommunications Monitoring Report reveals there are three distinct mobile markets ¿ prepay, on account and business ¿ painting a distinctly different view of competition than previous reports.
"New Zealand's highest spending mobile users deserved this. The Commission has acknowledged its past approach of looking at an operator's share of total connections can be 'misleading'. It's now time for an in-depth look into switching barriers so we can see why customers who want to move, don't," says Mr Sherriff.
The Monitoring Report shows that competition in prepay has been vigorous, but on account or business customers have not switched providers.
Mr Sherriff says today's findings show there is still work to be done to ensure long-term competition benefits all mobile users.
"2degrees has been actively competing for on account and business customers for more than two years, rolling out a national network and opening 49 retail stores. Despite this, we continue to hear from mobile users who are frustrated that they cannot take up a deal from 2degrees, even in situations where we can save them 20% or more on their monthly bill."
Mr Sherriff says the reasons vary, but a common area of complaint is the finer detail of contract terms, which customers are confronted with when they call their provider to say they are leaving for 2degrees. In some cases even finding out those details can be a challenge.
"We look forward to the Commission taking the next step to look into these issues so the incredible value 2degrees has brought to prepay customers is extended to all mobile markets."
"In the meantime, today's report will be an important input for policymakers as they prepare for the upcoming Telecommunications Act Review," he says.
2degrees and iHeartRadio have teamed up to bring top British singer songwriter Ed Sheeran to New Zealand shores for a one off show in Auckland at the ASB Theatre on April 30th.
"2degrees is excited to be partnering with iHeartRadio to bring this fantastic event to Kiwi fans ¿ and it's all on the house. We are extremely grateful Sheeran has made time in his busy schedule for this exclusive show - particularly given he is in such huge demand right now prior to the release of his new album X, " says Malcolm Phillipps, 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer.
With tickets initially available through the iHeartRadio website up until 17th April, 1500 free tickets will then be made available exclusively to 2degrees customers. Details on how to register for these tickets will be announced on Thursday.
2degrees today welcomes its latest fair feature, Freedom Term Plans which allow 2degrees customers to get more value and experience more freedom and flexibility on their mobile than ever before.
Available now on Carryover and the $69 Share Everything Plans, 2degrees' new Freedom Terms allow customers to bring their own mobile device, and rewards them with more network value either as more minutes or data than the same priced plans on a 24 month term.
Plans start at $29 per month, which includes, 300 Carryover Minutes to NZ and Aussie, Unlimited Text to NZ and Aussie, and 1GB Carryover Data. Please visit our website for our full range of plans.
Customers who join on a Freedom Term before 4 May will also receive a bonus 2GB of Carryover Data.
2degrees is about to begin its journey into fourth generation mobile with the start of its 4G trial in Auckland next week.
The three-month closed trial will involve 10 4G sites in central Auckland using 2degrees’ 1800MHz spectrum. The company expects to launch 4G commercially in Auckland in July, followed by the wider Auckland region and other main centres - Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch - by the end of the year. The rollout in to provincial areas will continue in to 2015.
2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says the company is now at a point where it is ready for the move to 4G.
“As the newest player in the market, we have taken a very systematic approach to the rollout of our network to ensure we get it right for our customers. We started with 2G, then added 3G which has been the absolute focus of our efforts over the past three years. With our customer’s ever-increasing appetite for data coupled with more LTE-capable handsets available, we feel it is now the right time to extend our capabilities to the next generation of mobile.”
Mr Sherriff says the company’s 4G network will be complemented by a significantly stronger 3G network.
“As part of our 4G readiness program, we have invested heavily in extending our 3G coverage over the past year. This has included the installation of 3G at 900MHz across all of our sites which, in effect, is providing a ‘boosted’ 3G service. It has meant that in areas where customers previously could only get 2G service, many now get 3G as we have more overlap between our sites and great in-building penetration. This, coupled with our existing HSPA+ network and recently launched HD voice, has already made a significant difference to the quality and speed our customers are experiencing on our network.” Mr Sherriff says the company is looking forward to taking the next step in to the future. “Digital connectivity will be made ubiquitous by 4G. While the full potential of 4G is still yet to be explored, what we can be sure of is that it will allow for a whole new world of opportunity that our network is now ready for,” he says. “Our customers are using more than triple the amount of data they were two years ago and it has become an integral part of our work and personal lives. There is no doubt that 4G will transform our lives further, and we are looking forward to the exciting possibilities it will provide to our customers.”
Today's international mobile price comparison shows that the New Zealanders who use their mobile the most continue to pay above the OECD average.
The report, released by the Commerce Commission this morning, reveals a tale of several markets. While increased competition in the lower usage prepay mobile market has delivered better pricing, those who make the most calls have yet to benefit from competition.
2degrees Director of Corporate Affairs & Wholesale Mat Bolland says the company is looking forward to the Commission's upcoming analysis of the New Zealand mobile market.
"This international report shows mobile competition is very different for prepay, post pay and business users. We believe reporting on each market, along with a look at the barriers to competition in those markets, will provide a more accurate picture of what's happening in mobile," says Mr Bolland.
"Past reports have painted an unduly rosy view of mobile competition. With a review of the Telecommunications Act ahead of us it's important political decisions makers have all the facts when understanding why high usage mobile customers aren't getting a great deal."
Mr Bolland says the Commission's comment that high volume mobile users may not be price sensitive is at odds with 2degrees' experience.
"In our experience, price is always a factor for high usage mobile customers, but we're seeing a number of customers held back from taking the best deals in the market. A thorough analysis of the three mobile markets is timely."
When it comes to talking at length on mobile phones, New Zealanders are trailing behind most nations. Americans, by comparison, use their mobile devices nearly five times as much as Kiwis*, but the fear of sky-rocketing mobile phone bills still stands in the way of Kiwis following this worldwide trend.
In a further step to get Kiwis talking more, 2degrees has launched a new range of 'Share Everything' plans, at a price point never been seen before, that is set to shake up the mobile market in New Zealand.
The new 'Share Everything' plans start at $69 for unlimited calls and texts to NZ and Australia, plus loads of NZ Carryover Data – then share it all with up to three other 2degrees mobile customers for just $20 a month each.
2degrees Chief Marketing Officer, Malcolm Phillipps, says the new 'Share Everything' plans offer another great deal for customers in a bid to liberate Kiwis when it comes to talking and using their mobiles more.
"Based on sharing, these innovative plans empower families, groups of friends and businesses to use their mobiles the way they have always wanted to without the fear of bill shock and unexpected costs. The more you share with people, the more value you get," says Mr Phillipps.
Starting from just $69 per month, all 2degrees' new Share Everything plans come with a pool of unlimited calls and texts to NZ and Australia, plus loads of carryover data that can be shared. Customers simply choose a plan that best suits them based on how much data they need, and then decide if they want to share their plan with other people.
To launch the ‘Share Everything' plans, 2degrees has teamed up with the world's fastest talking female, Fran Capo who holds six Guinness World Records, to encourage kiwis to get talking. Fran will be available to media on Tuesday 10th/Wednesday 11th December.
For more information on 2degrees Share Everything plans, go to 2degreesmobile.co.nz.
*Source: Merrill Lynch Global Wireless Research2013
The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) has today launched a blacklisting system for lost or stolen mobile devices which Police say will help prevent crime by making mobiles less attractive to thieves.
Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees have worked together over the past year to develop the blacklisting system, which gives each operator the ability to block the IMEI number (unique identification code) of a mobile device that has been reported as stolen across all three networks, usually within 24 hours.
The system is based on international best practice, and uses a central database hosted by the GSMA – the international body representing the mobile industry. If blacklisted, a mobile device will be useless on all three major mobile networks, even if the thief (or whoever receives the goods from the thief) changes the SIM or switches provider.
Chief Executive of the TCF David Stone said that the initiative was a great example of cross-industry collaboration and would bring real benefits for customers, and for the community as a whole.
"Mobile phones have become more and more important to us over the past few years. For many people, their mobile is not just a phone – it is also their camera, watch, diary, encyclopaedia, map and social organiser. This makes smartphones very desirable items, but unfortunately it also makes them a prime target for thieves. The blacklisting system aims to address this problem," said Mr Stone.
Superintendent Steve Christian, National Manager Mobility for New Zealand Police welcomed the blacklisting system.
"This is a great leap forward because there has, until now, been a significant gap in this area. We are pleased the telcos are now joining together to render stolen devices as being of no value on the streets."
Mr Stone said that anyone who wishes to have their lost or stolen phone blacklisted should contact their mobile provider, and he emphasised that they should also report the theft to the police.
He warned that people should be careful about purchasing mobile phones or other mobile devices from sources other than registered dealers.
"If you purchase a stolen mobile phone or other device – even if you think you are buying it legitimately - you may not have any recourse if that device is subsequently blocked, and so you could end up losing money. We urge people to purchase mobiles only from registered dealers or from sources they know they can trust."
The 2degrees board has appointed Brad Horwitz as its new Chairman, and international wireless pioneer, John Stanton as a new director.
Mr Horwitz replaces Stewart Sherriff as chairman, who has stepped down from the Board following his recent appointment as CEO.
As co-founder, President and CEO of Trilogy International Partners (2degrees' majority shareholder), Mr Horwitz has more than 30 years international mobile experience. (biography follows)
Mr Horwitz, a 2degrees director for the past four years, says he is delighted to take the helm of the 2degrees board and also welcome new director, fellow Trilogy International Partners co-founder John Stanton.
Mr Stanton has co-founded three, top 10 wireless operators in the US in the last 25 years. He helped found McCaw Cellular Communications (sold to AT&T in 1994), was the founder of Western Wireless Corporation (sold to Alltel in 2005), which created Voicestream (sold to Deutsche Telecom, now T-Mobile in 2001), and co-founded, along with Mr Horwitz, Western Wireless International, which operated mobile networks in 12 countries around the world. (biography follows)
Mr Horwitz says he has worked John Stanton and Stewart Sherriff in every continent other than Antarctica over the past 18 years, so focusing that experience on 2degrees will bring a global perspective to the local management team.
"John, Stewart and I regard 2degrees as one of the most exciting wireless opportunities we've ever seen. The Trilogy partnership focuses on early stage wireless growth opportunities and sees competition in New Zealand as just that ¿ early stage, with real upside for customers," says Mr Horwitz.
"We've worked closely with our partner shareholders to build a business that has already made a difference. Our recent appointments create a strong local and international bench for the next stage in the company's growth."
Last month it was announced that Mavis Mullins had also been appointed to the 2degrees board, replacing Bill Osborne.
Brad Horwitz ¿ Biography
Brad Horwitz is President and CEO of Trilogy International Partners which he founded in partnership with John Stanton in 2006 following the sale of Western Wireless Corporation to Alltel. Prior to forming Trilogy, Mr Horwitz served as president of Western Wireless International, having founded the company in 1995 and expanding into 11 international markets prior to the time of the Alltel transaction. In addition, he also served as an executive vice president of Western Wireless Corporation, which created both the domestic and international assets of Western Wireless as well as Voicestream (sold to Deutsche Telecom and now known as T-Mobile).
From 1992 to 1995, Mr Horwitz was a founder and Chief Operating Officer of SmarTone Mobile Communications Limited (Hong Kong) while under secondment from AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. (then McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc.). From 1983 through 1995, Mr Horwitz worked in various management capacities for McCaw Cellular including serving as Vice President of International Operations.
John Stanton ¿ Biography
John Stanton is a founding member of Trilogy Partnership. John is a wireless industry pioneer, co-founding three, top 10 wireless operators in the United States in the last 25 years. His involvement in the wireless industry began in 1982 when John helped found McCaw Cellular Communications, where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman. By 1989, McCaw had grown to be the largest wireless operator in the US and in 1994 was sold to form what is now AT&T Wireless.
Beginning in 1989, John and his partners formed a number of private entities that in 1994 were combined to form Western Wireless Corporation, where he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1989 to 2005. In addition to the company's US operations, Western Wireless also operated wireless networks in eleven foreign countries in Europe, Africa, and South America. Western Wireless was the nation's seventh largest independent wireless operator when it was acquired by Alltel Corporation in August 2005 in a transaction valued at $6.2B.
VoiceStream Wireless, which was formed as a subsidiary of Western Wireless in 1995, was John's third wireless endeavor. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company from 1995-2001. VoiceStream spun off as a public company in May of 1999 and was sold to Deutsche Telecom for $50.7B in 2001. Deutsche Telecom subsequently changed the name to T-Mobile USA. John served as Chairman and CEO of T-Mobile USA from 2001-2003.
In 2006, John and several colleagues formed Trilogy Partnership, a private equity fund that invests in exciting, early stage growth opportunities in the wireless ecosystem, and Trilogy International Partners, a wireless operator in Central and South America and New Zealand.
John served as Chairman of national wireless associations three times, once each during the 1980's representing McCaw, the 1990's representing Western Wireless and 2000-2001 representing VoiceStream/T-Mobile. Mr Stanton chairs the boards of directors of Clearwire Corporation and Columbia Sportswear, Inc., each of which is publicly traded. Mr Stanton has a bachelor's degree in political science from Whitman College and an MBA from Harvard University.
Vodafone's campaign to secure the remaining 700MHz spectrum shows it will pay whatever it takes to stall true competition in mobile.
2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says Vodafone's public comment this week that the spectrum should be sold to "the party that values it the most" adds to chilling reading in its Commerce Commission application for the scarce resource.
"Vodafone already has more spectrum than anyone else and is seeking to use its market power to gain even more. This is a once in a generation allocation and the outcome will impact the telecommunications market for the next 18 years," says Mr Sherriff. In an industry where the company with the most spectrum enjoys lower infrastructure build and operation costs, Vodafone is seeking to lock-in twice as much spectrum as 2degrees.
Mr Sherriff says Vodafone's October 9 clearance application to the Commerce Commission reveals its plans to ensure 2degrees does not continue to grow, preventing post pay and business customers from getting the value they deserve.
In seeking the remaining 5MHz paired of 700MHz spectrum, Vodafone concludes:
"¿all [operators] can continue to compete on the same basis as at present¿.Vodafone and Telecom would remain in broadly equivalent positions¿and there is no reduction in 2degrees ability to compete on the same basis as it currently does".
Mr Sherriff says these comments are aimed at ensuring 2degrees does not grow, ultimately undermining its ability to become a full service telecommunications provider that challenges Vodafone and Telecom in the fixed and mobile markets.
"We are investing in a national network, growing our customer base and launching new services. We've made it clear we intend to leverage the UFB to compete head on with Vodafone and Telecom in the total telecommunications market."
"Spectrum is the motorway of the industry ¿ you can't give one player twice as many lanes and expect the market to be competitive. It's especially important in rural areas where Vodafone is attempting to create a new monopoly ¿ everyone, everywhere deserves a choice of three."
Mr Sherriff says the government needs to take stock of a complex and changing market, not make a decision based on a lack of information.
"All three players now have sufficient spectrum to deliver 4G services, with Vodafone and Telecom already holding more than 2degrees."
"Even Telecom agrees no one needs the additional spectrum immediately and that the government should not sell it to Vodafone."
"The Minister has commenced a review of the telecommunications market and that needs to play out. The review will reveal the true state of competition in the mobile market and provide information that enables good decision making."
"The unsold spectrum isn't needed right now ¿ the market's changing fast. Let's take the time to get this right."
2degrees' purchase of 10MHz of 700MHz ¿digital dividend' spectrum will leave at least 5MHz of the scarce resource unsold ¿ and the company is recommending it stays that way.
CEO Stewart Sherriff is asking the government to await the outcome of the upcoming Telecommunications Market Review rather than damage long term competition by selling the unsold spectrum to Telecom or Vodafone.
"Spectrum is the motorway for mobile operators, and in the next few years that motorway will be built on 1800MHz spectrum, which all mobile operators already own. There are no mobile devices or networks using 700MHz that can be deployed in New Zealand right now, so there's no pressing consumer need to sell the remaining portion of that band," says Mr Sherriff.
Yesterday, 2degrees committed $44m, buying 10MHZ of 700MHZ spectrum. It needed to do so because the government was selling the 18-year rights to those airwaves now, even though it will be several years before the company can build networks that give it a return on that investment.
The government must now decide what to do with any unsold spectrum, which deep-pocketed Vodafone and Telecom would like to lock-up so that 2degrees cannot buy it at a later date.
Mr Sherriff says it would be easy to make the wrong call now.
"It's time to take a close look at the state of competition, examine the different stages of investment each provider is facing and make decisions based on the future of a strong, three-player market," he says.
He says the bigger question is where real competition to the two vertically integrated incumbents will come from. "This is bigger than mobile. We've made it clear we intend to leverage the government's UFB to provide a fixed and mobile alternative, with innovative services that have the same impact our mobile market entry did just four years ago."
"But first, we need to make sure we have real competition in mobile. There are real challenges faced by post pay and business mobile users, which will become apparent as the government proceeds with its market review," he says.
Mr Sherriff says he will write to Communications Minister Amy Adams asking her to put the 700MHz on the shelf ¿ and let the market review provide insights that deliver more for consumers.
An Iwi based community fund with an emphasis on supporting digital technology initiatives, will be launched this Saturday in Gisborne.
The fund called Nati 2degrees Moni Whakapakari i te iwi Whanui will help assist Ngati Porou communities with increasing their accessibility to the internet, and developing the digital capabilities and skills of their people. The fund is an outcome of an innovative partnership between the East Coast tribe and mobile telecommunications company, 2degrees.
In August the partnership announced that 2degrees would provide all mobile voice and data services to a consortium of seven Ngati Porou organizations, made up of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Ngati Porou Fisheries, Pakihiroa Farms, Ngati Porou Hauora, Ngati Porou Forests, East Coast Rugby Union and Radio Ngati Porou. In return the company would donate five percent of each organisations monthly spend back to the Iwi through a community fund.
With the fund recently established, individual Ngati Porou Iwi members will have the opportunity to contribute to the collective pool as well. By signing up to a 2degrees monthly contract, five percent of their mobile communication spend will also go towards benefiting the greater tribal community. At the 2006 Census count over 70,000 identified themselves as members of the Ngati Porou Iwi. To register for the scheme Iwi members, as well as others who support the initiative, must also be registered on the Ngati Porou Iwi database.
Allan Jensen, Chief Financial Officer for Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou says the purpose of Nati 2degrees reflects how the fund was originally generated and has broad application to Iwi members.
"We all use technology in our everyday lives, but this fund will provide further opportunities for Ngati Porou to connect, create and innovate. Projects could include computer literacy wananga, marae Wi-Fi connectivity, digital archiving of taonga, or ICT grants and scholarships."
He also believes the relationship with 2degrees is ground breaking, and could set a precedent for other tribes to follow.
"By leveraging off our combined commercial interests, we as a collective of Ngati Porou organisations have benefited from significant cost savings and an improvement in technology and services. If we take this concept one step further by leveraging off our combined commercial interests as Ngati Porou individuals, we as a collective Iwi also have the opportunity to benefit."
2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says the initiative is exciting as it blurs the line between commercial and community interests to deliver a unique set of benefits to all.
"Technology is rapidly changing and it's important people are brought along with it. We are proud to be involved in this trail-blazing initiative that will not only ensure Ngati Porou's future mobile technology needs are met, but the rich cultural fabric of its wider community is further enhanced by IT and learning new skills," he says.
"We also hope this initiative will inspire other organisations to look at how mobile can further benefit their wider community and it can become a blueprint for future relationships."
The 2degrees Board has appointed the company’s Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Stewart Sherriff as its permanent CEO.
Following a global search, the Board selected Mr Sherriff to lead New Zealand’s mobile challenger, recognising his extensive industry experience and in-depth knowledge of the business.
Andy Scott, Head of the 2degrees Board Recruitment Committee says Stewart will retain the role of Chair while the Board progresses a replacement.
“Stewart has had a long association with 2degrees as a Board member for the past five years and serving as Chairman for more than three. In the five months since the death of Eric Hertz his leadership has ensured momentum for the business,” says Mr Scott.
“In addition, the Board was drawn to Stewart’s experience with a range of overseas mobile operators, especially his success as CEO of Ireland’s Meteor, which was the third entrant in a market with two dominant competitors,” he says.
Mr Scott says 2degrees now has a significant market presence. With more than $550m invested in national infrastructure and more than 1 million consumer and business customers, Stewart is well placed to lead it to the next level.
“We have great confidence that Stewart and his team can deliver even more value to New Zealand mobile users,” he says.
For Mr Sherriff, the opportunity to lead 2degrees is a unique and exciting challenge in a country he and his wife love.
“There’s huge potential in 2degrees, which has redefined mobile for so many New Zealanders. Challenges like this don’t come along that often and for a rugby-mad Scotsman the location couldn’t be better.”
Mr Sherriff will resign from his role as CTO of Trilogy International Partners, 2degrees’ majority shareholder. He and his wife will complete the move from Chicago and begin the process to make New Zealand their home.
An innovative partnership announced today between a collective of Ngati Porou organisations and mobile telecommunications company 2degrees, will offer substantial benefits to members of the East Coast-based tribe.
Under the collaboration, 2degrees will provide all mobile voice and data services to Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Ngati Porou Fisheries, Pakihiroa Farms, Ngati Porou Hauora, Ngati Porou Forests, East Coast Rugby Union and Radio Ngati Porou. This will include hundreds of connections and further benefits to the Iwi’s membership.
The partnership with 2degrees ushers in a new approach by the Iwi to leverage off the tribe’s combined commercial interests says Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Chairman, Dr Apirana Mahuika.
“By working together we have negotiated an agreement which will not only generate significant cost savings across all our organisations, but will also upgrade our technology and services. For many of our staff based out in the community, particularly our rural health workers, the increased access to important data through their mobile devices will help them to work in a more efficient and effective manner.”
Dr Mahuika also acknowledged 2degrees for their commitment to working with Ngati Porou and for customising a business model which includes the creation of a Ngati Porou/2degrees Community Rebate fund to be launched early September.
2degrees Head of Dealer Sales, Mark Payne says the contract with Ngati Porou means more than just business.
“We have a very strong connection with Maori given our beginnings were thanks to the incredible vision and foresight they had for 2degrees over a decade ago. We are honoured that Ngati Porou have recognised our company as a commercial partner and want to do business with us. We look forward to our journey together, which will include exploring new ways for the tribe to connect and engage with Iwi members.”
2degrees has secured a $165m credit facility from the Bank of New Zealand and reached agreement with Huawei to deploy 4G network in early 2014.
The BNZ arranged credit facility means 2degrees has a fully funded business plan, providing for continued national network expansion and revenue growth.
2degrees Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Stewart Sherriff says the transition from vendor finance to bank credit reflects the quality of the team at 2degrees, the financial strength of the business and its future plans.
“We’re thrilled to have BNZ join us as a partner in the future of 2degrees. 2degrees has grown rapidly and has a loyal customer base. We have laid the foundation for a sustainable, profitable business and now have the funding to invest in further network expansion across New Zealand,” says Mr Sherriff.
“Having been cash flow positive for almost a year, 2degrees is able to fund its own operations without shareholder funding. Bank finance will accelerate the business.”
BNZ Head of Institutional Banking Paul Blair says the decision to finance 2degrees was based on the strength of the business.
“2degrees has made a great start, proving there is room for a third mobile operator. Having reviewed their future plans we see a growing business that we want to be a part of,” says Mr Blair.
In addition to funding future investment needs including 4G deployment, this facility from BNZ will enable 2degrees to repay vendor finance from Huawei provided in February 2011.
Mr Sherriff says the company’s existing relationship with Huawei, with its global leadership in 4G, would ensure it could continue to deliver simplified products via high quality technology.
“Huawei have provided us with a modern, high quality 2G and 3G network. They’ve always had an eye to the future and have helped us prepare for a fast transition to 4G, which is key to maintaining our value leadership position,” he says.
Huawei New Zealand CEO Arthur Zhang says Huawei is honoured to be continuing its role as exclusive network equipment and related software supplier to 2degrees.
“The initial partnership with 2degrees was a significant milestone for Huawei. We were a relative newcomer to the New Zealand ICT industry, arriving in 2005. The extension of this relationship is a hugely positive step for us - we have grown with 2degrees and share their vision for bringing positive change and innovation to the market,” says Mr Zhang.
Mr Sherriff says 2degrees has grown quickly, offering unique value offerings such as Carryover minutes, Shared data and – last week - calls & texts to Australia from customers’ existing mobile bundle.
“Gaining bank finance will help us deliver more truly different services. It shows others share our belief that 2degrees has the people and the plan to build infrastructure and services that will grow the business further,” he says.
2degrees was advised by Grant Samuel, who played a major role in the co-ordination and execution of the financing process and the final negotiation of the transaction with BNZ and Huawei.
2degrees has more than 1 million customers, operating a national mobile network that services all market segments with Pre Pay and Pay Monthly services. The company is EBITDA positive, employs 760 staff and operates more than 40 retail stores throughout New Zealand, with NZ-based 24x7 customer care.
Keeping in touch with family and friends across the ditch just got a whole lot easier for 2degrees’ customers who can now call and text Australia on their mobiles at no extra cost.
From today, all 2degrees Pay Monthly and Prepay Plus Combo and business customers can use their included minutes and ‘All You Need’ texts to call any landline or mobile in Australia.*
Chief Marketing Officer Malcolm Phillipps says kiwis make more than 600 million minutes of calls to Australia every year, yet they haven’t used their mobiles to make a lot of these calls as prices are as high as 91c per minute on competitor networks – that has the potential to cost Kiwi’s millions every year, just to keep connected.
“You can now call a landline or mobile in Perth with your included 2degrees minutes for the same price as a call to Palmerston North. With 650,000 kiwi expats living in Australia and many companies doing business across the Tasman, it is time to change the market again,” says Mr Phillipps.
“We know 73% of New Zealanders have friends and family living in Australia and of those, 86% regularly keep in touch. Now, kiwis can talk and text friends and family in both countries on their 2degrees mobile, with confidence there are no additional costs.”
Mr Phillipps says mobile is now the key tool for home and business life.
“With Australia becoming part of the NZ calling package via 2degrees mobile, you really would have to question the need for a home phone, with its monthly line charge plus high per minute charges for calling across the Tasman.”
“It certainly makes sense for people to now use their mobile to keep in touch with loved ones and even more sense for kiwi companies who regularly do business across the Tasman.”
One such kiwi company is Stray Ltd, an adventure travel agency which says this initiative will make a real difference to both its business and people.
“It’s critical we have effective communication tools to speak with Australia for our entire business given a large source of our business is from Australia. To have the ability to call Australia from my, or one of our many company mobiles anywhere, anytime at no extra cost is the ultimate flexibility. Not only is this a direct tool for the company but an advantage that extends to our crew who all have 2degrees phones. It will give us the competitive edge to offer a complete package to staff which will also benefit their personal lives. What I really admire about 2degrees is that this would typically only be offered to new connections by other Telco’s - but with 2degrees it’s a little bit different.” Brett Hudson, Stray Ltd.
2degrees is continuing its fight for fairness and bringing better value to mid-Canterbury mobile customers with the official opening of its Timaru store in Stafford Street this weekend.
The 2degrees store, which is the sixth store to open in the South Island region, will officially open its doors at 10:00am on Saturday 18 May.
To celebrate the opening, 2degrees is offering some extra special deals to customers on Saturday and Sunday which include:
2degrees also have fantastic deals on Pay Monthly plans including a free Android smartphone on a $29 contract plan.
Malcolm Phillipps, 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer, says the company is excited about opening its first Timaru store.
“We’re looking forward to being a part of the Timaru business community. We’re very proud of the new store, it looks fantastic and the team are raring to go!” he says.
“2degrees is on a mission to bring better value to New Zealand mobile customers and the opening of the Timaru store will ensure people have easy access to our innovative products and services as well as support from our great in-store team.
Mr Phillipps says the opening weekend specials are just a taste of the great value plans 2degrees offers customers every day.
“We are focused on providing customers with the most value possible through our exclusive range of plans such as our new Carryover Plans on Pay Monthly, which lets Pay Monthly customers keep their unused minutes and data for up to a year. Our newly launched Prepay Plus plan, also allows customers to keep their unused minutes for up to a year. No-one else offers this type of mobile value.”
The 2degrees store is located at 212 Stafford Street, Timaru.
2degrees today launched Prepay Plus, the only Prepay plan in New Zealand that allows customers to keep their unused minutes for up to a year with new Carryover Value Packs. 2degrees is one of the first mobile companies in the world to offer Carryover Minutes using a Prepay technology platform.
Prepay Plus has three new Value Packs that contain Carryover Minutes:
Chief Marketing Officer, Malcolm Phillipps says mobile prices have fallen dramatically since 2degrees’ entry into the market and the company is continuing its focus on providing unparalleled value to its customers through smart ideas and fair pricing.
“Customers are using their mobiles now more than ever so it’s imperative they get value for money. Our new Carryover Packs on Prepay Plus mean customers don’t lose the minutes they have paid for just because a new month ticks over.”
Mr Phillipps says 2degrees’ suite of new products and services is just a taste of the future.
“The mobile world is changing at a rapid rate and products like Prepay Plus continue the 2degrees mission to keep New Zealand mobile users connected. Innovation is key and will play a huge role in the way kiwis, and their communities, keep in touch in the future.”
The new Prepay Plus plan is just one of a number of cutting edge initiatives 2degrees has introduced to the New Zealand market as part of its continued commitment to ‘fight for fair’. Earlier this year, 2degrees became the first mobile provider in New Zealand to launch full Carryover Plans on Pay Monthly, including Carryover Data™. Launched in April, Carryover Plans let Pay Monthly customers keep their unused minutes and data for up to a year.
In another New Zealand mobile first, 2degrees today launched Carryover Data which allows Carryover Plan customers to carry over their unused data every month for up to a year.
The company also airs its new campaign dubbed ‘Fight for Fair’ tonight to reiterate its commitment to bringing value to kiwi mobile users. You can view a preview of the television commercial by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DULEQH92aIk
Chief Marketing Officer Malcolm Phillipps says today marks another major milestone in the company’s mission to ensure fairness for all mobile consumers.
“2degrees has always brought real value to New Zealanders through smart innovations like Carryover Minutes, Shared Data and long life Mobile Broadband that mean customers can use their mobile even more. And today we’re delivering another New Zealand first with Carryover Data.
Kiwis are using more data than ever before – in the last year alone, data usage on our network has almost tripled. We also know that our customers need different amounts of data at different times – some months they use more than others. We have always focused on value because technology is no good unless you can afford to use it. Our Carryover data plans mean customers get exactly what they pay for,” he says.
From today, all Carryover Plans™ will include Carryover Data™ alongside Carryover Minutes™ and All You Need Texts on both consumer and Business Plans.
Mr Phillipps says today’s launch of its ‘Fight for Fair’ campaign is bittersweet.
“Eric Hertz really cared about providing value to our customers and this was one of the last projects he worked on with us. This kind of innovation captures everything Eric stood for and a fitting reflection of his legacy.”
The 2degrees Board met today in Auckland to acknowledge the loss of Eric and Kathy Hertz, review support for their families and 2degrees staff and address issues of interim leadership.
Chairman Stewart Sherriff and Board member Brad Horwitz, CEO of majority shareholder Trilogy International Partners, arrived in Auckland this morning and have met with the company’s management team.
“We have all taken comfort from the comments and heartfelt sympathies from around the world expressed about Eric and Kathy,” says Mr Sherriff.
“Eric was a veteran in the wireless industry and brought that experience to bear in the New Zealand market. He has built a great team and his passion for excellence and exceeding customer’s expectations have been instilled into the entire organization. The board has complete confidence that the 2degrees team will continue to drive change and innovation into the New Zealand market,” says Brad Horwitz.
To provide continuity and support, 2degrees Chairman and Senior Vice President of Trilogy, Mr Stewart Sherriff will assume the interim role of CEO for 2degrees, effective immediately.
Mr Sherriff has more than 35 years of telecommunications industry experience and has been involved in 2degrees since Trilogy’s investment prior to the company’s launch. A brief biography of Mr Sherriff is below.
In addition, 2degrees is liaising with Eric and Kathy’s families in the US and continues to provide support for their daughter. Staff have been offered support and an online tribute page will be added to the 2degrees website later this afternoon, so those wishing to post a message about Eric and Kathy can do so.
The 2degrees team is shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of its CEO Eric Hertz and his wife Kathy following a plane crash off the Raglan coast yesterday.
Given the Police recovery effort is just beginning, the company cannot comment on the accident, but does wish to thank those from New Zealand and around the world who have offered their condolences and support.
Director of Corporate Affairs Mat Bolland says the company is providing all support possible to Eric and Kathy's daughter and keeping their families in the US informed of the progress of recovery.
"We appreciate there is significant media interest in the accident, however the family has asked media not to contact them directly. A statement from the family will be released in due course," he says.
Eric joined 2degrees in 2009, fresh from leading a mobile app company ‘Zumobi' in the US and had an extensive telecommunications career spanning more than 30 years and six countries.
"Eric and Kathy had lived in many places, but called New Zealand home. They recently gained residency and, through flying, got to see more of New Zealand than many of us will ever see," says Mr Bolland.
"Kathy was also passionate about her new home, working closely with AUT and providing us with sound counsel on community initiatives."
Mr Bolland says among 2degrees staff there is shock at the loss of someone who would always greet you with a smile, while constantly encouraging you to do things differently and delight customers.
The results of Eric's challenge and leadership style can be seen in the rapid growth of 2degrees and prices people pay for mobile today.
"We are going to miss Eric's leadership, friendship and dry sense of humour. He was our ‘honorary Kiwi' and greatly respected by our 760 staff."
Mr Bolland says 2degrees Chairman Stewart Sherriff and the Board are working with the company's management to ensure business continuity.
2degrees can confirm that the plane involved in a crash near Kawhia this afternoon was owned by our CEO Eric Hertz.
Although we have limited information, we understand that Eric and his wife Kathy were on board and that they are unlikely to have survived.
Our focus now is to support Eric and Kathy's daughter and provide assistance to their family.
We are deeply appreciative of the calls and messages we have had this afternoon, and when it's possible to make a further statement we will do so.
2degrees has been awarded ‘Mobile Phone Service Provider of the Year’ for the second year in a row by Australasia’s largest Independent Research company, Roy Morgan Research.
The prestigious awards recognise Kiwi brands across 24 sectors for having the best customer satisfaction, as rated by more than 12,000 New Zealand consumers.
2degrees Acting Head of Customer Care, Sam Edwards says the company is delighted with the award.
“We are very excited to be recognised once again for listening to our customers and providing an industry-leading level of satisfaction. Not only did we win the overall annual award but we also had the most satisfied customers every month of last year. We are passionate about our customers and providing great customer service and this award is something we are very proud of.”
Ms Edwards says 2degrees success is based on providing a complete end-to-end customer experience.
“Every interaction counts - from the moment they meet our sales people or walk into a 2degrees store, right through to when they call Customer Care or interact through one of our self-service channels. Our mission has always been to make 2degrees fairer and better for our customers and we will continue to focus on doing just that.”
The award is one of several the company has received in the last year for its service. Consumer Magazine recently named 2degrees ‘New Zealand’s Best Mobile Provider’ and the company was also named the winner of Canstar’s ‘ Most Satisfied Customers – Mobile Phone Retailers’ and ‘Most Satisfied Customers – Mobile Phone Carrier’ categories.
2degrees today announced it has won a major contract to provide all mobile voice and data services to the University of Waikato.
Under the initial contract, 2degrees will provide the university with mobile services to over 450 connections, as part of a long-term partnership.
The agreement, which is the largest for 2degrees since it was approved as a Government panel provider for the All of Government (AoG) Mobile, Voice and Data supply contract last year, will also see both organisations work together across a range of other areas to provide benefits to the University’s students, alumni, family and friends.
2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says the deal is a milestone partnership that reflects its commitment to providing a fairer mobile deal for all New Zealanders.
“The University of Waikato is an innovator in its respective fields and we are thrilled that it has recognised us as an innovative, credible alternative that it can build a long-term partnership with. This win is also significant as it shows that 2degrees that can not only deliver value to consumers and small business but also now large, complex organisations.”
Mr Hertz says the deal with Waikato University reflects a new way of doing business in the mobile world.
“Just as technology is rapidly changing, so are the needs of New Zealand businesses who want more transparent, flexible plans that suit their specific communications needs.”
“We have worked very closely with the University to develop a deal specifically tailored to its needs but also flexible enough to allow for changes as those needs evolve. We are looking forward to supporting Waikato University with cutting-edge, long-term mobile solutions.”
University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the contract with 2degrees will help the University minimise costs, but the real winners will be students.
“At the University of Waikato we are investing in the future of our students. By providing opportunities for students to take part in the great deals offered by 2degrees we are enabling them to utilise the latest technology and learn anywhere, anytime.”
2degrees CEO Eric Hertz said the detail of the Government’s planned auction of 700MHz spectrum will be crucial in determining whether Kiwis will continue to benefit from effective three-player competition in the mobile market.
“It’s important that this spectrum is allocated at a price, and with conditions, that promote competition and investment in the transition to 4G services. We look forward to seeing the proposed detail of the allocation – including the reserve price - over the coming months which we hope will ensure all three players can continue to compete actively for kiwis’ business.”
Mr Hertz says the allocation of the 700MHz spectrum is extremely important for all New Zealanders.
“Kiwis have fallen in love with smartphones and they have become an essential daily tool. On our network alone, data usage has almost tripled in the last year. Spectrum effectively provides the ‘motorway’ for faster mobile internet services, and we need it to increase capacity on our network to meet our customer needs – now and in the future.”
Mr Hertz says it’s also important a long-term view is taken regarding the allocation.
“As the Minister said in her statement today, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity so it is important long-term competition and the benefits to consumers are prioritised over any short-term windfall for the Government.” Mr Hertz says the company is in a continual stage of investment.
“An example of this is our recent $15 million investment for additional 1800MHz spectrum from Telstra. This demonstrates the importance of spectrum going forward to meet our customers’ capacity demands. This brings our total investment up to $550 million.”
Record-breaking demand from customers for all things mobile has seen 2degrees hit a number of major network milestones.
New Zealanders’ love affair with new generation smartphones and tablets has seen data usage on the 2degrees network almost triple in the last year. Last month alone (January 2013), customers used the most data ever recorded on the 2degrees network in one day. The holiday period also saw 2degrees customers smash all previous usage records with an 81% increase in national voice and a 74% increase in international voice minutes on Christmas Day. Data usage also soared by a record 200% on last year.
2degrees customers are also sending more than double the amount of texts they were two years ago.
2degrees Chief Marketing Officer Malcolm Phillipps says 2degrees research shows that 85% of customers with smartphones are regularly watching videos, social networking and researching products and services and 73%* admit they never leave home without their smartphone.
“This is unprecedented growth and clearly shows that we’re not only using mobile to communicate in more ways, but also more than ever before,” says Mr Phillipps.
“The usage patterns of our million-plus customer base has provided us with valuable insight and is the motivation behind today’s launch of a range of new 2degrees consumer and business plans.
Our new plans have more voice, text and data and all share two unique 2degrees benefits – all Pay Monthly customers get to keep any unused minutes at the end of each month and also get to use their data across all of their devices.”
Mr Phillipps says the new plans, which are only available on 2degrees, also make things simpler and provide more value than ever before.
“There has never been a better time to own a smartphone,” he says. “Having sold tens of thousands of high-quality smartphones on Pay Monthly plans in 2012, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, we know that our customers have an insatiable demand for voice, text and data and now have a choice of price points they can afford.”
Looking ahead, Mr Phillipps expects further growth this year as more Kiwis realise the benefits of mobile.
“We’re expecting smartphone sales penetration to reach 60% this year and usage growth to continue – particularly in regards to data - as customers find more ways to use mobile devices in their everyday work and personal lives.”
2degrees is continuing its mission to bring better value to mobile customers this Christmas with the official opening of its Nelson store this weekend.
The first 2degrees store of its kind in the region, 221 Trafalgar Street will officially open its doors at 9am on Saturday 8th December.
Mark Cleary, 2degrees Chief Sales Officer, says it is great to be launching the 2degrees store in Nelson, especially leading up to Christmas.
“We already have a 2degrees kiosk in Nelson so it will be great to add another 2degrees store and increase the availability of the great products and services. With coverage in over 97% of places Kiwis work and live, it’s great to be able to offer more people the chance to join our network and enjoy these exciting Christmas specials.”
To celebrate the opening, 2degrees is offering a range of launch deals to customers, who visit during the opening weekend, including:
2degrees also has some great deals on Pay Monthly plans including:
For full terms and conditions of our special opening offers and other great 2degrees products and plans, visit us in our new store today.
2degrees today announced the appointment of Mike Davies as its new Chief Technology Officer.
Mike brings more than 30 years experience in the mobile telecommunications industry having previously worked for IBM, Fujitsu, Vodafone New Zealand and the Vodafone Group Technology team in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Most recently, Mike has been with Alcatel-Lucent where he was the Head of Services for New Zealand, of late he has worked on a number of key initiatives within the Asia Pacific region.
2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says Mike brings extensive network development, operations and IT experience that will complement the company’s growth strategy.
“The telecommunications industry is changing rapidly and Mike’s global experience will provide valuable insight and leadership as we continue to expand our national mobile network, technology capabilities and new products for our growing customer base.”
Mr Hertz says Mike’s appointment also marks a significant ‘changing of the guard’ for 2degrees.
“Mike replaces our current CTO - Mike Goss - who is retiring at the end of the year. Mike has been with 2degrees for the past four years and has spearheaded the build of the company’s 2G and 3G networks. He has done an outstanding job and leaves the company, and our network infrastructure, in great shape going forward.”
Mike begins his role at 2degrees on December 10.
2degrees was last night honoured for its customer-centric approach to business at the ‘2012 AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards.’
The company took out the ‘Idealog Large Business $50million - $200million’ category despite stiff competition from other finalists Kordia Networks and Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.
In just three years, 2degrees has won the support of over 1,000,000 customers (21% of the mobile device market), achieved 97% coverage of ‘the places that kiwis live and work’, introduced a number of ground-breaking new products, set up over 35 stores nationwide and grown to over 750 employees from 40 different nationalities.
CEO Eric Hertz says he is delighted the team has been recognised for its achievements.
“Our success has always hinged on being unconventional and keeping the customer at the heart of everything we do. We are constantly challenging ourselves to give New Zealanders real value, more fairness and better choice – and people have responded to that,” he says.
“Our success has clearly shown kiwis were ready for real competition and they appreciate the fairness we have brought to the market. We will continue to focus on providing our customers with the best value for money.”
Since entering the market, 2degrees has introduced a range of products which has changed the way people use their mobile. This includes smart business plans (enabling customers to better control their costs at home and overseas); closed user groups across all plans (including calls, texts and data); long-life mobile data bundles; and shared data with other devices (such as iPads). Customers can also ‘carry over’ their minutes each month; and pay on public transport using Touch2Pay on their phone in selected areas.
2degrees today launches its first ¿Senior' phone which is specifically designed to provide simplicity, safety and peace of mind for those in their golden years.
The Alcatel OT-536 features extra-large talking buttons, hearing aid compatability, SOS emergency text buttons, a fall alarm, radio, LED torch and an additional alarm which can be set as a reminder to take medication.
2degrees Senior Product Manager Joe Cavanagh says the phone, which is believed to be the first of its kind on the New Zealand market, is not a smartphone but is still smart in its features.
"As phones get increasingly more complex and packed with features, there's still a real need to provide low-tech, easy-to-use, inexpensive mobiles that assist people in their everyday lives.
We know the baby boomer generation and beyond are keen to embrace technology, but want simple phones with easy functionality. The Alcatel OT-536 has been designed to do just that while at the same time providing a real sense of personal security," he says.
Mr Cavanagh says one of the phone's unique features is that users can store up to five key contacts in the phone. In the case of an emergency, the phone will automatically text all five people and call the first person on the list at the touch of a button.
With extra-large buttons, the handset has a voice recognition function that can be turned on to tell people what button has been pressed, making it easy to use and reassuring for users who may be unsure if they are dialling the right number.
Retailing for $149 the Alcatel OT-536 is exclusively available from 2degrees stores and online at 2degreesmobile.co.nz/shop
It’s now easier for Cantabrians to get on 2degrees thanks to the much anticipated opening of a new store in Northlands Mall.
Following several delays in construction due to the September earthquake, 2degrees’ second store opens its doors on Saturday 3rd November.
To celebrate the store opening, 2degrees is offering some extra special deals instore on launch day.
These offers include:
“We’re thrilled to be able to finally open this new store and contribute to rebuilding this fantastic city,” explains 2degrees Chief Sales Officer, Mark Cleary.
“There has been a lot of hard work and effort put in to getting the store ready and we are really grateful to all the people have made this possible.”
The address of the new location is:
K5 Northlands Mall,
2degrees today announced its customers can now tweet to their hearts content via SMS.
Product Innovation Manager Bruno Espezzano says the service is now available to all 2degrees customers who want to use Twitter from their mobiles without having to use any of their data or an App.
“Our customers are pretty savvy when it comes to the use of technology and social media and we’re pleased we can now provide them with another outlet to stay connected to the online world.”
Customers can now send a tweet by texting it to 8987¹. The service means customers can also follow people, receive SMS notifications for certain accounts and access many other functions normally used on Twitter.
Mr Espezzano says the service will also be helpful for key community organisations that need to keep large audiences up to date.
“This service will now allow organisations, such as Civil Defence and schools to keep people up to date on important news and announcements.”
For further information on this service, go to www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/why2degrees/twitter
¹ Twitter updates sent to 8987 will cost the standard 2degrees text rate of 9 cents per message in New Zealand and 88 cents when roaming overseas.
For the second year in a row, 2degree’s has taken the title of ‘New Zealand’s number one fastest growing technology company’ in the Deloitte Fast50 awards. The awards, which were announced last night, also saw 2degrees place 6th in the overall annual list of fastest growing companies with growth of 536% over the last three years.
2degrees CEO Eric Hertz says the company is delighted with the result. “It’s great for the team to be recognised once again for the phenomenal growth we have achieved. Thanks to our entrepreneurial attitude and disruptive innovation, we have created value-based mobile services at market leading prices for kiwis. Our entry in to the market showed New Zealanders were ready for a better deal with over one million kiwis voting with their feet and already joining 2degrees.”
Looking ahead, Mr Hertz says the company is focused on maintaining momentum.“We will continue to invest in our network and grow the business further through smart, customer-centric products and services for our prepay and pay monthly customers, coupled with even more focus on the business market.”
2degrees has today announced the launch of its best ever $19 Combo pack promotion, which is set to provide kiwis with more mobile value and freedom than ever before.
From today until Jan 31st 2013, 2degrees prepay customers can get even larger amounts of minutes, texts or data, in their specially tailored $19 Combo packs.
The promotion includes:
2degrees CEO Eric Hertz says,
“Since our launch three years ago, we have been focused on providing New Zealanders with innovative products that suit their lifestyles and budget. We are excited to offer this special range of $19 Combo packs, which offer the best prepay value in the market.”
Mr Hertz says the company is focused on continuing to lead the market.
“New Zealanders love choice and have responded to us quickly with over a million kiwis joining our network in just three years. We will continue to innovate and, coupled with our award winning customer service, ensure kiwis get the best deals possible.”
At a national level, mobile competition is already making a difference. Research from the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise showed that increased mobile competition has already delivered more than $2.24 billion of value to the New Zealand economy and is set to provide a further $7 billion of value over the next 10 years.
New Zealand’s newest mobile provider has continued its rapid growth, winning the support of more than a million Kiwi consumers and businesses after just three years in the market.
2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says the company now has more than 1,000,000 customers, a third of which have brought their 021 or 027 number to the network. In total, that’s 21% of the mobile device market.
“More than a million New Zealanders have made it clear they wanted choice and competition in the market. Kiwis have become increasingly attached to their mobile phone and are savvy when it comes to value, service and easy to understand products,” says Mr Hertz.
“Seeing three players compete to win – and keep – customers is a fantastic outcome for all mobile users. Competition is bringing down prices and increasing the range of devices available.”
2degrees launched nationwide 2G services to the prepay market in August 2009, acquiring 206,000 customers within six months. By March 2011, with a 3G network and post-pay service in place it had grown to over 580,000.
Passing the one million customer mark, the company now serves the business market, is one of the approved providers to government, operates with 35 stores across New Zealand and has more than 700 staff.
Mr Hertz says the pace of 2degrees growth is rapid, a little faster than expected - and there’s more to come.
“We started by halving the price of prepay voice and text, then drove value with Carryover minutes that last up to a year. More recently, we launched Shared Data, so customers get to use what they’ve paid for across multiple devices.”
“We’ve got more of this ‘simple innovation’ up our sleeve. It’s all about getting people to feel more comfortable about using mobile,” says Mr Hertz.
“New Zealand remains an attractive market for a mobile innovator. There are still great opportunities to deliver better value for New Zealanders.”
At a national level, mobile competition is already making a difference. Last year, 2degrees commissioned research with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise which showed increased mobile competition had driven $2.24 billion of value to the New Zealand economy. Maintaining that competition is expected to drive a further $7.8 billion by 2021.
2degrees is broadening its retail presence with the official opening of its first store in Napier this Saturday, 28 July.
The 2degrees store, which is also the first for the Hawkes Bay region, signifies the company’s commitment to providing better and fairer mobile services to customers and businesses in the area.
With 90%* of business in the Hawke’s Bay being classified as small to medium enterprises, 2degrees CEO, Eric Hertz, says the opening provides a support hub for businesses where better mobile value makes a difference to the bottom line.
“The monthly mobile bill is one of the biggest expenses for many businesses and they have been paying too much for too long. This country was built by SMEs, and 2degrees is proud to be making it a priority to bring better value to the Hawkes Bay,” says Mr Hertz.
Mr Hertz says the company’s s commitment to the region is also reflected in the number of new jobs created for staff and contractors working in the new store.
To celebrate the opening, 2degrees is offering extra special deals to customers.
Launch offers, on Saturday and Sunday only, include:
The address of the 2degrees Napier store is 62 Emmerson Street, Napier.
*Statistic New Zealand
Eight talented young Maori students have today become the first recipients of 2degrees’ Hei Rere Mai scholarship programme.
The scholarship, was launched last year by 2degrees and its founding shareholder, the Hautaki Trust, aims to increase Maori participation in the telecommunications industry.
The scholarship, which is one of three key initiatives under the Hei Rere Mai programme, is open to Maori students studying towards ICT qualifications at the University of Auckland.
2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says today is an important step forward for the programme.
“We’re very excited about this initiative as not only are we able to give these talented young people a helping hand to learn and excel in their chosen career paths, but we’re also hoping their progress will inspire other young Maori to work in our industry as well.
“The telecommunications sector is changing rapidly and our continued success hinges on attracting great people to our business. Thanks to our founding shareholder, the Hautaki Trust, this initiative is providing young Maori with a real chance to be a part of an exciting industry and, more importantly, part of our journey within it.”
The recipients of the inaugural 2012 scholarship include Grace Ngapo, David Pene, L’Rey Renata, Jamie Pye, Leon Hayward, Xien Rare-Lee, Julius Bennett and Frederick Blucher.
The scholarships, which ranged this year from $500 to $5,000, were awarded to the students at a low key event today.
Mr Hertz says the scholarship winners will act as role models in Accelerating Aotearoa’s Talent Programme, visiting Auckland schools to inspire younger Maori students. They will also have the opportunity to undertake internships with 2degrees while studying as part of the wider Hei Rere Mai initiative.
“We pride ourselves on our award winning customer service and, through our structured careers programme, young Maori candidates will get the chance to experience first-hand just how we value our customers and are focussed on delivering great customer care,” says Mr Hertz. Under the programme, those who are customer focused then learn about the business and the technology will then get the opportunity to study on-the-job towards further ICT qualifications. They may also be offered roles in the IT and Networks teams, where they will work with the latest mobile technology and systems.
The days of multiple, expensive mobile data plans are over, with the launch of ‘Shared Data’ between 2degrees devices on Monday 7 May, 2012.
Mobile data use on the 2degrees network has increased by more than 200% over the last year as more customers use multiple devices to stay connected wherever they go. 2degrees has also found that almost three-quarters of New Zealanders (72%*) have unused data at the end of the month.
2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says ‘Shared Data’ started from a simple principle: you should get what you pay for.
“Pay Monthly customers can now cover up to five mobile devices from one data plan, allocating their data to any smartphone, tablet, USB modem or gaming device that uses the 2degrees network. Unused data no longer goes to waste,” says Mr Hertz.
“Data can also be shared with any other 2degrees customer – including Prepay customers – so your family, friends or colleagues can use the same data quota without needing multiple, complex plans.”
2degrees has conducted a nationwide survey* which found that nearly half of all Kiwis own multiple mobile devices which connect to the Internet. However, almost three-quarters of those surveyed believe their data plans do not offer good value for money.
The survey also found fewer than 50% of New Zealanders think mobile data plans are simple to understand. With users’ spend on mobile data averaging more than $50 a month, the demand for better and fairer mobile data is clear. 2degrees is the first mobile company to address this issue.
Mr Hertz says Shared Data is free to all 2degrees Pay Monthly customers for the first six months. In addition, everyone who joins a Pay Monthly $39 Plan or above gets 1GB of Bonus Data free every month for one year, so there’s always plenty to share.
2degrees is pleased to announce the appointment of Trent Harnett as Head of Marketing Communications.
Trent has been with 2degrees since 2008, most recently managing the Prepay Market segment. He brings over ten years marketing and advertising experience to the job through previous roles with telecommunications companies in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Malcolm Phillipps, 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer, says Trent is a foundation member of the 2degrees team.
“We are pleased to recognise the exceptional work Trent has done in helping to build the brand since its launch in August 2009, and acknowledge his consistently remarkable results.
“We look forward to the drive, vision and energy Trent will bring to the Head of Marketing Communications role, as 2degrees continues on its mission to deliver better value mobile services to Kiwis,” says Phillipps.
In a New Zealand first, Wellington commuters can now “touch” their mobile phone to pay for their bus and taxi fare, thanks to 2degrees’ new Touch2Pay offer. Using selected 2degrees handsets, this simpler, faster way to pay means no PIN, signature or cash are needed.
The service is now operational in Wellington, where over 200,000 Snapper cards have already been issued.
Beyond taxis and buses, consumers will be able to use their mobile phones to pay for goods at retailers, including dairies, Subway Restaurants, FIX Urban Grocer and cafes, through an exclusive partnership with contactless payment provider, Snapper. Using their Snapper balance, customers can top up their handsets with up to $300 spending money.
2degrees CEO, Eric Hertz, says Touch2Pay will make payment faster and easier for people on the go.
“We have been working with Snapper to launch this technology, which marks another step in the way mobile can make life better every day. The launch of Touch2Pay is the kind of innovation we believe Kiwis will really value, effectively enabling your mobile phone to swallow your wallet” says Mr Hertz.
Snapper CEO, Miki Szikszai, adds that paying for transport and everyday items has just got a whole lot easier.
“Snapper is a way of life in Wellington. We are really pleased to be working with 2degrees to make this product even better,” he says.
Wellingtonians who sign up to 2degrees Touch2Pay phones by 31 July will also receive ‘Free Weekends’ with free bus travel in the Wellington area and 1GB of data to use in weekends for the rest of 2012.
The LG Optimus Net ($299) is the first 2degrees Touch2Pay capable handset. Other handsets across a range of price points will be released throughout this year.
Touch2Pay is the first fully commercial deployment of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology in New Zealand. This highlights 2degrees commitment to mobile payments and builds on last month’s announcement by 2degrees and its partners to form an industry wide Trusted Service Manager (TSM) to accelerate the establishment of a robust and lasting NFC ecosystem in New Zealand.
2degrees is continuing the mission to bring better value to mobile customers with the official opening of its Dunedin store on Saturday.
The 2degrees store is a first for Dunedin and the Otago region. Located at 111 George Street, the store will be officially opened at 9am on Saturday 28 April.
To celebrate the opening, 2degrees is offering extra special deals to customers.
Launch day offers, on Saturday and Sunday only, include:
2degrees also has fantastic deals on Pay Monthly plans which are available right up until the 6th May including a free Android smartphone on a $29 contract plan.
Mark Cleary, 2degrees Chief Sales Officer, says he is thrilled to be launching the first Dunedin store.
“We’re very proud of the new store, it looks fantastic, the team are raring to go and the positioning of the store is perfect being right in the heart of Dunedin on George Street,” says Mr Cleary. “In 2012, 2degrees is on mission to continue to bring better value to New Zealand mobile customers, and opening the Dunedin store is yet another step towards the mission.”
The address of the 2degrees Dunedin store is 11 George Street, Dunedin.
Already providing coverage in 97% of the places New Zealanders live and work, 2degrees is now making affordable high speed mobile internet available to more Kiwis by extending its Mobile Broadband Zones to an additional nine regions throughout New Zealand.
From 2 April, residents in Rotorua, Taupo, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North, Levin, Ashburton, Dunedin, and Invercargill will be able to enjoy even better value with 2degrees Mobile Broadband Zones. This is in addition to those cities and towns already in Zone, bringing the total number of Zones to 17 nationwide.
Designed for customers at home or on the go in one or our Zones, 2degrees Mobile Broadband is convenient and easy to use, with flexible options for topping up. A range of different sized Mobile Broadband Zone Data Packs are available, each providing a generous data allowance - the bigger the pack, the longer they last. And, until 1 July 2012 customers can get 1GB of Mobile Broadband Zone Data for an effective rate of $10 on selected Mobile Broadband Zone Data Packs, providing the best value Mobile Broadband in New Zealand.*
“By further enhancing our network and investing in more Mobile Broadband Zones, we’re continuing our mission to bring better value to all New Zealanders,” says 2degrees CEO Eric Hertz. “We’re especially proud to bring affordable mobile broadband to Hastings.”
2degrees is pleased to announce the appointment of Malcolm Phillipps as Chief Marketing Officer.
Malcolm has been the Head of Acquisition and Communications for 2degrees, spearheading the company’s brand and marketing communications since 2009. He brings over fifteen years of marketing, market research and marketing communications experience from roles in the telecommunications, consumer products, automotive, and energy services industries.
“Over the past three years, Malcolm’s team has developed and delivered a truly world class brand and a comprehensive marketing communications programme,” says 2degrees CEO Eric Hertz.
“He brings a passion for the mission and a leadership style that is extraordinary, and I know that he will continue to help move our company forward as we develop new services and improve existing products.”
With the recent launch of the Nokia Lumia 800, Microsoft and Nokia hope to change the shape of New Zealand’s smartphone market. Now, 2degrees plans to make it easier for businesses and consumers to get their hands on it.
2degrees Chief Sales Officer, Mark Cleary, says 2degrees will offer the latest Windows Phones to customers, and make them more affordable for Kiwi businesses and consumers.
“We are fostering a close relationship with Microsoft, one of the fastest growing players in the New Zealand smartphone market,” says Cleary. “The smartphone is now an essential tool for businesspeople and consumers, and 2degrees is focused on making devices such as the Nokia Lumia 800 affordable so that Kiwis can enjoy its seamless integration with the Microsoft software they use in their office and home.”
2degrees customers will get a free Nokia Lumia 800 (on shelves March 23) when they sign up to the new $199 Plan (see details below) for 24 months.
For a fee of $199 per month, 2degrees Business and Pay Monthly customers will receive unprecedented ‘talk as much as you like’ value, including:
The Nokia Lumia 800 features the latest Windows Phone 7.5 software, plus:
Analysts predict that Windows Phone software will be number two worldwide by 2015 and Microsoft is expecting that Windows Phones will grab a 15-20% share of New Zealand’s smartphone market over the next 24 months.
“Frost & Sullivan predicts that, by 2015, 477 million smartphones will be sold in Asia Pacific, representing one of the key growth regions for the future,” says Rayner, David Rayner, Director Consumer Channels Group, Microsoft New Zealand. “The partnership with Nokia allows both brands to gain a stronger foothold in this part of the world.”
"Nokia Lumia will change the way people think about Nokia. It signifies a new beginning for the company, bringing together the best of Nokia's handset design and services with the latest Windows Phone software,” said Nokia's managing director, Chris Carr. "Interest locally has been extremely positive. We are pleased that our operator partner, 2degrees, will be bringing the Nokia Lumia 800 to its smartphone range."
More New Zealanders are taking advantage of great value mobile, with 2degrees now serving 875,656 customers after two and a half years in the market.
CEO Eric Hertz says the team at 2degrees has been humbled by the speed at which New Zealanders have joined the company and says the support and response from customers will never be taken for granted.
“Almost a year ago, we were thrilled to announce that 580,111 customers had chosen 2degrees. We spent the rest of that year developing new network and products, opening new stores and focusing on our New Zealand based customer service, so it’s extremely rewarding to see that effort deliver results,” says Mr Hertz.
Included in the customer number are more than 275,000 New Zealanders who brought their existing mobile telephone numbers with them to 2degrees, signalling an end to the days where people were locked to their network by their number.
Mr Hertz says the launch of business services, better value smartphones and innovative products such as the $149 plan and CarryOver Minutes had provided real freedom to businesses and consumers.
“New Zealanders are using smarter phones to make their business and personal lives easier. They’ve been frustrated by complex pricing which hits them in the wallet. Plans that provide them with ‘talk-as-much-as-you-like’ calling have been truly liberating and made the move to 2degrees a painless one.”
Mr Hertz says the last year has seen mobile users wise up to the difference between cheap headline offers and real value.
“Individual consumers and businesses have joined us in the past year because they value service, easy-to-understand pricing and coverage to 97% of New Zealand,” he says.
Mr Hertz says the team at 2degrees has grown to more than 545, with the strongest expansion in customer service and sales staff.
In the year ahead, 2degrees will continue to build network and develop more plans like the recently announced $19 Data Combo, which recognise the ‘total cost of use’ when operating a smartphone and provide great value voice, text and data.
2degrees introduces the world’s first Te Reo Maori smartphone 2degrees announced the first Te Reo Maori smartphone today at the Te Huarahi Tika Trust annual general meeting.
Maori Affairs Minister, Dr Pita Sharples, took the first call on the Huawei Android smartphone from Te Huarahi Tika Trust Chair Daphne Luke this afternoon.
2degrees worked closely with handset manufacturer, Huawei, to translate all of the menus in its IDEOS X3 smartphone to Te Reo Maori.
2degrees Director and Hautaki Trust Board member Bill Osborne says making Te Reo Maori available in today’s mobile technology was a vision that the Hautaki Trust had when it helped found the company. “Through Hautaki Trust, our primary objective was to engage Maori in the telecommunications industry,” adds Mr Osborne. “A further aim was to ensure that the Maori culture and language were embraced by modern information and communications technology, and the IDEOS X3 smartphone with Te Reo menu is testimony to the commitment to this goal by 2degrees and Maori.”
Mr Osborne says that these new handsets and a range of other initiatives demonstrate the value of the Maori investment in 2degrees, which has already delivered significant benefit to the New Zealand economy.
A recently released report by Venture Consulting showed $2.24 billion of benefits to the economy have already flown from the creation of 2degrees.
The Te Reo IDEOS X3 will be available from 2degrees retail stores before Christmas.
In October, 2degrees launched the Te Reo Huawei G6600 phone for $99 – a lower price option that gives more customers access to Te Reo Maori phones.
For more information about 2degrees products and plans, visit www.2degreesmobile.co.nz
2degrees and its founding shareholder, the Hautaki Trust, have launched Hei Rere Mai (‘So You Can Fly’), a programme to increase Maori participation in the telecommunications industry.
Announced by Maori Affairs Minister, Hon. Dr Pita Sharples, the three-stage programme involves career advice, paid scholarships and careers for Maori.
Hei Rere Mai is:
Career advice: Maori students in their last years of high school study will be provided with career advice by Accelerating Aotearoa, a specialist charitable trust that focuses on decile one and two schools in the Auckland region.
Scholarships: A scholarship fund of $50,000 per annum will be made available to Maori studying towards ICT qualifications at Auckland University. These are open to Maori from across the country and can include funding towards the costs faced by students who must relocate to Auckland.
Jobs with a future: 2degrees will recruit high-school leavers into its Customer Care team, providing a structured career programme whereby they study towards ICT qualifications and can progress into roles in the company’s IT and Networks divisions.
2degrees Director and Hautaki Trust Board member Bill Osborne says the programme delivers on the kaupapa the Trust envisaged when it first acquired radio spectrum more than a decade ago.
“For Maori, the investment in 2degrees is about more than money. The Trust is thrilled with the company’s progress so far and looks forward to future dividends. In the meantime, Hei Rere Mai provides a tangible way to get Maori involved in this exciting industry and create intergenerational expertise,” says Mr Osborne.
“Via this programme, Maori have real opportunities to be part of one New Zealand’s most exciting and fast growing businesses – one that all Maori, via the Hautaki Trust, have a stake in.”
2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says the programme will help 2degrees nurture and create talent at a time when skilled ICT workers are hard to find.
“2degrees was built on the hard work of Maori and the 40 different nationalities employed in the company today. By inspiring young Maori to work in our industry, then providing them with opportunities to learn – on the job or at university – we’re creating tomorrow’s knowledge workers,” says Mr Hertz.
“Hei Rere Mai will see career advice from Accelerating Aotearoa in 2012, with university scholarships also available for study next year. We will work with Maori media to promote job opportunities within 2degrees in coming months.”
Mr Hertz says structured careers in 2degrees will begin in Customer Care, where employees get to play their part in delivering the company’s highly awarded customer service. Once employees have shown a strong customer ethos they will have opportunities to study towards ICT qualifications on-the-job.
Employees who are customer focused, know the business and the technology will then be offered roles in the IT and Networks teams, where they will deal hands-on with the latest mobile technology and systems.
Those who win scholarships will be provided with internships at 2degrees, so they gain practical experience while studying.
Both new employees and scholarship winners will be required to assist the work of Accelerating Aotearoa – spending time in schools as role models for young Maori considering a future in the telecommunications industry.
2degrees is expanding its distribution footprint by partnering with The Warehouse – launching today in 86 stores nationwide and through the Warehouse’s online store.
Eric Hertz, 2degrees CEO, says he is delighted to be partnering with one of New Zealand’s largest retailers and most recognized brands for value.
“There is great synergy between 2degrees and The Warehouse, with both committed to offering our customers the best value for money. This partnership is about delivering better value to every New Zealander. We’re looking forward to a long-term relationship with The Warehouse, like we enjoy with our other partners.”
From today, The Warehouse customers can purchase 2degrees Prepay – with SIMs, top ups, and mobile broadband. A range of 14 phones will also be available, including the latest smartphones.
The Warehouse CEO, Mark Powell, says he is excited about 2degrees being available in The Warehouse and agrees there is great alignment between the two companies in terms of their core values.
“We are both dedicated to giving our customers the lowest possible prices. We have some fantastic launch deals coming up across a wide range of products, so there is something for everyone. The Warehouse Group has had a relationship with 2degrees since it launched in 2009 through our Warehouse Stationery stores – and now we’re thrilled to be welcoming such an extensive range of 2degrees products to The Warehouse stores themselves.”
As of March 2011, 2degrees had 580,000 customers, and recently announced that 200,000 of its customers have ported their whole number – even the 021 and 027 bit – to the two-year-old network. For more information, visit www.2degreesmobile.co.nz.
The groundswell of New Zealanders taking their whole mobile number to 2degrees – even the 021 or 027 bit – has reached a new high: 200,000 New Zealanders have now ported their number to 2degrees since it launched two years ago.
Eric Hertz, 2degrees CEO, says it is clear that a mobile number no longer belongs to the network, it belongs to the customer.
“We understand that a customer’s mobile number is part of their identity, and it should be portable, so they can take it with them, whoever they choose as their mobile provider. The 200,000th customer to port their number to 2degrees is particularly significant given the launch of 2degrees Business in July, because the last thing a business wants to do is change their number and risk losing contact with valuable customers.”
It’s easy and quick for customers to port their number to 2degrees. It can be done online and typically takes only a few hours.
More information about the number porting process is available at www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/transfer-details or by calling 0800 022 022.
2degrees announced today that it has launched the LG Optimus Black, providing customers with a dramatically brighter 4-inch NOVA display in the world’s slimmest mobile device.
Available for the first time in the New Zealand mobile market, the LG Optimus Black’s NOVA display is designed to be the brightest, clearest and most readable among mobile screens, providing users with an easier and more natural experience when browsing the web, reading emails, or writing documents.
The LG Optimus Black also makes a strong visual statement, with an ultra slim 9.2 mm design that weighs only 109g and offers sleek lines and smooth edges that improve handheld grip.
The NOVA display on the LG Optimus Black also radically reduces power consumption compared to a conventional LCD, meaning users will have enough power for their daily needs, even at maximum brightness settings.
“Following our launch of New Zealand’s first smartphone with a dual core processor, we are excited to introduce the world’s slimmest smartphone,” said 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer Larrie Moore. “With breakthrough display technology, the LG Optimus Black offers a supreme user experience and takes smartphones to a new level.”
Initially available only from 2degrees, the Optimus Black also offers the following key features:
- 5MP camera, with 720p HD video capture capability and world’s first 2MP front-facing camera
- world’s first Wi-Fi Direct™ for quick and high-quality data transfer between mobile devices
- provides access to over 100,000 fun and functional applications on the Android Market
- 1GHz processor
- upgradeable to Android 2.3
Retailing at a very reasonable $749 RRP, the LG Optimus Black is available now at 2degrees retail stores around New Zealand. It can also be purchased online through www.2degreesmobile.co.nz
2degrees Mobile today launched its fastest and most powerful smartphone yet – the much anticipated LG Optimus 2X. Featuring powerful ‘Dual-Core’ technology, the new top-of-the-line device powered by Android™ is the first of its kind to be made available to New Zealanders.
Chief Marketing Officer Larrie Moore says, Dual-Core technology enables customers to enjoy twice the power of a regular handset because it’s specifically designed to process high definition photos and video as well as multi-tasking.
“Exclusive to 2degrees, the LG Optimus 2X is now the fastest smartphone you will find on the New Zealand market. And, at $999 (RRP), it’s easily the best value.”
With its 1GHz Dual-Core processor, the LG Optimus 2X with Google is upgradeable to Android 2.3 by the end of October - representing the next evolution in Android technology.
“This device reinforces 2degrees’ commitment to offering New Zealanders uncompromised performance within its handset range - selected especially for those customers who seek the highest spec experience,” Mr Moore said.
Noted for its bright, clear TFT LCD screen technology, the LG Optimus 2X offers outstanding HD video capture and easily manages heavy gaming graphics on an impressive 4in display.
Key features of the LG Optimus 2X include:
- Tegra 2 Dual-Core 1GHz processor and ULP GeForce GPU
- Android 2.2, upgradable to 2.3 Gingerbread
- 8GB on board memory, with MicroSD (up to 32GB)
- HSDPA 7.2Mbps and HSUPA 5.7Mbps
- An 8 megapixel camera with 1080p full HD video recording and HDMI-Outport
- Slick, sturdy, compact handset, in a black finish
The LG Optimus 2X will be available through all 2degrees retail stores today and through selected outlets around New Zealand in the coming weeks. It can also be purchased online at www.2degreesmobile.co.nz
We are delighted to announce that 2degrees has halved the cost of using mobile data while in Australia.
We have dropped our trans-Tasman data roaming rates for customers travelling to Australia to at least 50% of competitors’ rates. 2degrees pre-pay and pay monthly customers now pay the reduced casual user rate of $2.50 per MB – the best available casual data rate in New Zealand.
2degrees has also dropped its trans-Tasman calling costs to 44c a minute, so pre-pay and pay monthly customers will now be able to phone home from Australia at the same rate as a standard national 2degrees prepay call.
2degrees has been able to negotiate a better roaming agreement, and is immediately passing the savings on to its customers.
“Roaming in Australia is becoming increasingly important to our customers, including local businesses,” says 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer Larrie Moore. “This new roaming agreement lets us offer New Zealanders the best casual data rate and the same low pricing for calls in Australia that our customers enjoy at home. It’s our first step towards making roaming simple and reducing the cost for New Zealanders travelling abroad.”
To offer an even better rate, 2degrees has also introduced the country’s first international data roaming bundles, which gives consumers the ability to pre-purchase bundles of data to use the internet while abroad. The data roaming bundles, which start from $20 for 10MB of data and bring data roaming rates as low as $1 per MB, can be used seamlessly across Australia, the UK and the United States for 30 days.
“If a customer likes to check their email or surf the net regularly while away, they’d be better off buying a bundle of data,” Moore added. “Pre-purchasing a bundle of data before they leave or on arrival means they won’t pay more than they bargained for.”
As part of a move to address the price of roaming, 2degrees has also reduced data roaming rates to $2.50 per MB for the UK and USA - which, combined with Australia, make up almost 60% of New Zealanders’ international travel.
2degrees currently covers 97% of the destinations Kiwis travel to work and play, and in the coming months will continue to expand its price leading position to the most popular destinations.
The way New Zealanders use their mobile phone will change for good following this morning’s Commerce Commission decision on Mobile Termination Rates.
2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says reductions in the wholesale fees operators charge each other are fundamental to real price competition for consumers in the market.
“Three years after we raised the issue we now have pricing that allows 2degrees to do even more for New Zealanders and make mobile the life-changing technology is should be.”
“Although 4.7million Kiwis have a mobile, they use it on-average less than once a day because of the cost.”
“Since our launch in August 2009 we’ve been changing that with large bundles of calling minutes and the best any-network any-time pricing, but the headwind of high termination rates from competitors has been strong.”
Mr Hertz says today’s decision is a smart one because it acknowledges the damage to competition from higher charges for calls and texts to other networks.
“The Commission is watching and is prepared to act. This should be the beginning of the end of deals which penalise consumers for calling or texting other networks,” he says.
2degrees had expected rate reductions, providing significant price reductions for its customers following Communications Minister Joyce’s decision to regulate in August last year.
“When we launched we halved the price of pre-pay calling and texting. Earlier this year we made big cuts to calling costs for our post-pay customers. There’s more to come, so people should think twice before signing a long term contract,” says Mr Hertz.
“New Zealanders can be assured that mobile pricing is only headed one way: downward.”
Due to demand, 2degrees is making New Zealand’s first ever ‘talk as much as you like’ Pay Monthly Plan a permanent offer from today. Trialled since December, the ‘Pay Monthly $149 Plan’ is the only offer in the market, which gives both the individual user and business customer the freedom to talk as much as they like for a fixed monthly fee.
The $149 Plan covers all standard national calls to any NZ mobile and landline*, so customers can keep talking without worrying about the size of their bill. The plan also comes with 1000 texts to anyone in NZ plus 250MB of 3G data.
While offers like this have been available to mobile users overseas for some time, the $149 Plan is the first and only offer of its kind in NZ. And Kiwi mobile users can now enjoy the offer on a permanent basis, on a 12 or 24 month contract or month by month.
“This offer will change the way people in New Zealand use their mobile,” says 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer, Larrie Moore. “Being able to call anyone, any time and talk for as long as you like without being charged a cent more for it is a completely new concept for most mobile users here. It’s offers like this that change the market for the benefit of consumers. Anyone spending over $149 a month on their mobile phone needs to seriously consider this plan.”
With an announcement regarding the regulation of Mobile Termination Rates coming at the end of the month, 2degrees has already started to pass the benefits on to New Zealand consumers. With as much any network talk time as you want, 1000 texts and 250MB of data, the 2degrees $149 Pay Monthly Plan offers consumers one of the best calling plans in the country.
*Standard calls exclude calls to premium rate numbers (e.g. 018, 0900) or when roaming overseas. A fair use policy applies.
For $19, 2degrees Prepay customers will get 30 minutes of any network talk time, 2000 any network texts, and 50MB of data. With a combined value of $29*, the Combo Pack will save 2degrees Prepay customers over $10 a month.
Chief Marketing Officer Larrie Moore says the $19 Combo Pack is unique in the market and continues the 2degrees mission of offering customers significantly better value for money.
“This pack is great news for our existing customers who can purchase the pack by simply texting ‘buy 19combo’ to ‘233’. We also hope to attract significant numbers of new customers to our network with this great value offer”.
With an announcement regarding the regulation of Mobile Termination Rates coming at the end of the month, 2degrees has already started to pass the benefits on to New Zealand consumers. With low rate any network talk time and texts, the 2degrees Prepay Combo Pack offers customers the best value in the country.
A $19 Combo Pack can be purchased once every 30 days and automatically renews at the end of the 30 day period unless it is stopped or the customer does not have enough credit.
|Lowest Standard Prepay Rates to anyone in New Zealand||44c a minute|
|2000 texts to any network in New Zealand||$10 Text Pack|
|Nationwide Data Pack 50MB||$6 Data Pack|
2degrees continues to shake it up in mobile, with 580,112 customers joining in just 19 months.
Chief Executive Eric Hertz announced the company’s customer number at an Auckland event this morning, noting a number of milestones in the past year.
“Lower pricing was just the beginning. Since February last year we’ve opened 10 stores, launched nationwide 3G service and provided monthly plans that don’t lock you into a long term contract,” says Mr Hertz.
“Then we created real handset competition via well-priced, feature-rich smart phones and continued to pleasantly surprise Kiwis with simple plans that offer more for their money,” he says.
“Supported by coverage to 97% of where New Zealanders live and work and 24/7 New Zealand-based customer care, 2degrees has become a full service, full scale option for all New Zealanders.”
Mr Hertz attributes the company’s continued success to listening to customers and delivering on a simple promise.
“We introduced carry-over minutes, long-life mobile broadband and a $149 plan that removes the worry of calling charges, by listening to what people wanted,” he says.
Mr Hertz says one of the most encouraging signs for 2degrees has been the number of customers who’ve brought their number to 2degrees.
“With a quarter of our customers bringing their pre-existing mobile number to our network, it proves just how easy it is to keep your number and get a better deal. It’s all online, it’s incredibly simple and it’s fast.”
2degrees’ growth is no surprise to Mr Hertz, who says shareholders are excited by the long-term growth potential of the business and New Zealand mobile market.
“We’re seeing data demand double every two months as consumers make the most of increasingly sophisticated devices. That demand, and our plans to win even more customers, underpins our recent announcement of a $100 million investment in network capability,” he says.
Mr Hertz says the coming year will be the most exciting year yet for mobile consumers.
“By the end of this year we’ll have opened 40 stores throughout the country and moved into new segments with the kind of innovation and pricing people have come to expect. This would be a good time to avoid signing a contract with our competitors,” he says.
Mr Hertz says 2degrees remains committed to New Zealand based customer care and will push ahead with plans to expand its Christchurch-based workforce.
2degrees last provided a customer number in February 2010, having gained 206,000 customers after just six months of retail operation.
Customers with friends and family in Japan given 60 minutes of free calling
2degrees has given free credit to its customers who are currently in Japan or have made calls to Japan over the past 30 days.
Chief Executive Eric Hertz says the credit was added to customers’ accounts this morning, so all they need to do is pick up their phone to contact friends and loved ones.
“We know that many of our customers are in Japan right now, or have friends, family and whanau in Japan right now. We hope that this will help them to keep in touch with loved ones during this difficult time.”
2degrees customers who have roamed on a network in Japan over the past four days have automatically been given $50 credit, allowing them to call and text friends and family without worry.
In addition, 2degrees customers who have made a phone call to Japan from New Zealand over the past 30 days have automatically been given 60 free minutes to make calls to Japan by March 31.
JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT from 2degrees and Vodafone
2degrees and Vodafone are providing Christchurch Earthquake Operations centre staff with dual-SIM card mobile phones to aid the rescue and recovery effort.
The LG 310 phones, which carry 2degrees and Vodafone SIM cards, will provide rescue staff with simultaneous access to both networks as they continue their investigation of premises around the city.
The benefit of ‘dual SIM’ mobile phones is that if one company’s network is not operating, the phone can make calls and texts on the other’s.
The companies have pre-loaded 200 of the phones with credit so they are ready to use immediately.
Although Vodafone and 2degrees operate their own separate networks in Christchurch, the underlying GSM technology is the same.
2degrees mobile is set to launch a new Android™ powered 2.2 smartphone this month that will bring all the benefits of a top-of-the-range smartphone at a fraction of the cost – the IDEOS X5 from Huawei.
Following its international launch at the CES show in Las Vegas last month, New Zealand consumers will be amongst the first in the world to experience the IDEOS X5, which at just $549 (RRP) will challenge the market leaders on features as well as price.
“This is the one you’ve been waiting for,” says Larrie Moore, Chief Marketing Officer at 2degrees; “If you have been after a top of the line smartphone, but daunted by the price, this is the phone for you.”
Mr Moore says Huawei’s IDEOS X5 is the third and highest-spec smartphone in the company’s range of handsets running on the Android 2.2 operating system, and has a number of new features that will make it highly competitive in the market.
“The IDEOS X5 offers an outstanding mobile internet experience thanks to the large high-definition 3.8 inch capacitive touch screen, and a Qualcomm 800MHz Snapdragon processor,” says Mr Moore.
Other key features include:
• Android 2.2 (FroYo) operating system
• HSDPA 7.2Mbps
• 5.0 megapixel camera and LED flash, with 720p HD video capture capability
• 2GB of user on board memory, with MicroSD (up to 32GB)
• Stylish, solid rubberised construction, in either black or white colour finish (white devices will be available in late March)
• Wifi hotspot will be available via a software update by the end of May
Mr Moore says that the IDEOS X5 builds on the reputation established by the very popular IDEOS U8150 as a high quality smartphone that delivers on performance and functionality for an exceptional price. “Side-by-side with competitors, the IDEOS X5 delivers incredible value and we are delighted to be the only operator in New Zealand with the handset.”
“Savvy customers looking for a deal right now should seriously consider switching to 2degrees Pay Monthly and taking advantage of our Get a Pay Monthly Bonus where customers can get big bucks off the new X5 with any of our Pay Monthly Plans.”
Huawei’s Regional Director of Marketing for Devices, Alan Wong, says, “2degrees continues to offer tremendous value and a growing range of Android devices in the New Zealand market. The IDEOS X5, with its strong features and specifications is well placed to further strengthen 2degrees’ position in New Zealand’s smartphone segment.”
The IDEOS X5 is available through 2degrees retail stores and dealers around New Zealand from Tuesday, 16 February, or can be purchased online through www.2degreesmobile.co.nz.
Today 2degrees launched Facebook Zero a mobile-optimised version of of the world’s most popular social networking site.
Facebook allows you to connect and share with friends, and discover more about the world around you. 0.facebook.com is a new text-only mobile site that includes all of the key features of Facebook but is optimised for speed and is free to use.
Facebook Zero includes all the key features of Facebook’s standard mobile site m.facebook.com. You can update your status, view your News Feed, like or comment on posts, send and reply to messages, or write on your friends’ Wall, but it’s even faster than the normal Facebook site because it’s not clogged up with images and photos.
On 2degrees you can now access 0.facebook.com without any data charges. It’s completely free. You’ll only pay data charges or use data from a Data Pack when you view photos or video or when you leave 0.facebook.com to browse other mobile sites.
New Zealand’s newest mobile provider 2degrees is to invest more than $100m in its network over the next two years, following an agreement with global telecommunications provider Huawei.
2degrees already provides its customers with nationwide 2G and 3G mobile services via its own network and through commercial roaming. Today’s announcement will see a significant increase in the size, capacity and capability of the 2degrees network. 2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says the investment will see the company extend its 4G ready network beyond the main cities.
“We already provide great value calling, texting and mobile broadband services throughout New Zealand, so that won’t change. What this will mean is a network that meets the growing demands of smartphone and data device users,” says Mr Hertz.
“We’re very conscious that we need to build networks that deliver on tomorrow’s speed and capacity demands, so being able to upgrade to 4G via a software activation rather than a network rebuild is especially important as new spectrum becomes available and consumer demands for data continue to grow.”
Mr Hertz says network investment will bring total investment in 2degrees to more than $400 million. 2degrees will also open another 30 retail stores open in 2011, create 80 new jobs in a new Christchurch-based contact centre and drive the uptake of entry, mid-level and super smartphones.
“We’ve experienced rapid growth in the 18 months since launch. Our shareholders are eager to see us develop the network, stores and innovative services that make 2degrees even more appealing to New Zealanders.”
Mr Hertz says Huawei won the deal following a competitive process in which its technology solution and local in-country delivery capability shone through. The project will see Huawei undertake a ‘turn key’ project solution.
“Huawei technology underpins our current network and has impressed us with the way it performs, while allowing 2degrees to maintain its value leadership position,” says Mr Hertz.
“Huawei is heartened that 2degrees has again chosen our company as its partner for the building of phase two of its network. It’s a vote of confidence in Huawei’s technology and our ability to build a world class network for 2degrees’ customers,” says Huawei New Zealand CEO, Arthur Zhang.
2degrees will now work with local communities as network planning and construction takes place.
2degrees is reminding all New Zealanders heading out onto the roads this summer that driving is a full time job.
Director of Corporate Affairs Mathew Bolland says the approach of Christmas brings with it the increased likelihood of accidents on our roads, with even more ways for drivers to be distracted.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in the past year making it easier and cheaper for people to use their mobile, highlighting how easy it is to browse the web and use social media wherever you are,” he says.
“Tomorrow morning a lot of Kiwis will unwrap a new phone. We hope they’ll use it over the holidays, but ask that they think very carefully before they use it in their cars. Don’t be distracted while you drive.”
Lower mobile termination rates proposed this morning by the Commerce Commission will improve competition for the benefit of all mobile users.
2degrees Chief Executive Eric Hertz says the Commission should be applauded for its preliminary view that the prices networks charge each other for calls should be reduced quickly.
“More realistic pricing, as proposed today, underpins the approach 2degrees has taken to mobile in New Zealand from day one,” says Mr Hertz.
“Better pricing of these wholesale charges will directly benefit consumers. It supports our moves to make smartphones affordable for all New Zealanders and the introduction of game-changing plans such as the ‘0c plan’ for national mobile and landline calls,” he says.
“In the coming year, as we open more stores and invest further in our network, this proposed lower wholesale pricing will certainly help us to continue to provide compelling offers to customers.”
Mr Hertz says 2degrees will be engaging closely with the Commission in the New Year. In the next stage of the mobile termination rates process, 2degrees will highlight the problems faced by the one-third of mobile consumers who currently need two mobile handsets.
AUCKLAND, 15 December 2010
2degrees is taking the initiative on bringing down the cost of mobile for high-use consumers with the launch of the first ever monthly plan for single users that covers all national mobile and landline calls for one monthly fee with no contract required.
The fixed plan, available to the first 10,000 customers who join before 31 January 2011, costs just $149 per month and ensures that users pay zero cents per minute to call any standard mobile or landline in New Zealand.
Larrie Moore, Chief Marketing Officer for 2degrees, says that the company is proud to be the first to bring such an all-encompassing plan to the New Zealand market – a game-changing move for the mobile industry in NZ, and great news for people who use their mobile a lot.
“Plans like this have been available to mobile users in overseas markets, but due to lack of competition in the NZ market, this is the first time New Zealand’s high mobile users have been able to access comparable value ” said Mr Moore.
“Our research shows that more than 200,000 New Zealanders are paying more than $150 per month for their mobile phone usage. There’s no excuse for this anymore. Sole business operators especially, who routinely rack up a huge monthly bill for their mobile phone calling as part of their job, will find this new plan to be a God-send,” says Mr Moore.
“This plan takes the worry out of having to make a call. You can get on with your life, concentrate on the productivity of your business, secure in the knowledge that all your calls are covered. Now you don’t have to think about who you’re calling, what network they are on, and how much your mobile might be costing you. You might even want to reconsider your need for a landline phone.”
In recognition of the increasingly sophisticated needs of the high end mobile user, many of whom are using smartphones and have a need for mobile internet access on the run, the ‘0 cent’ plan also includes 250mb of data as well as 1000 texts.
“This is about 2degrees continuing to bring smart, simple products to the New Zealand market and great value to high-end consumers, who till now needed to be hooked into a contract to try and get some value out of their mobile phone usage.”
Consumers can access the plan today by going online to www.2degreesmobile.co.nz, at a 2degrees stores and leading retailers or via dealers Talk Mobile and Choice Mobile.
2degrees announced today that it will launch its second competitively priced Android 2.2 smartphone, the LG Optimus One P500 from tomorrow, December 7th.
Retailing for $449, the sleek new model provides the smartphone user with more features at a better price. The LG Optimus One P500 also comes with pre-installed software and an in-car cradle/charger that effectively turns the phone into a mobile car navigation system.
2degrees Senior Product Manager for Devices, Tim Hayward, said “This is an incredibly sophisticated handset at this price point that’s already seeing huge uptake around the world and has become a real hit for LG. 2degrees is pleased to be the first to offer it in New Zealand.”
“2degrees is delighted to be working with LG to launch the Optimus One, which will be available in leading 2degrees handset retailers from Tuesday December 7th,” said Mr Hayward.
2degrees is the only mobile network operator in New Zealand selling handsets powered by the latest Android 2.2 operating system. Since its launch by Google in 2009, Android has become one of the most popular operating systems for smartphones globally, officially overtaking Apple’s iOS in Q3 2010*.
Mr Hayward says there are two navigation software options on the Optimus One; Firstly, the popular Ndrive navigation software with NZ maps pre-installed on the included 2GB microSD card. “Ndrive lets you navigate without using your data bundle to download maps so it can be used in locations that don’t have mobile coverage.”
“And secondly, Google has recently activated turn-by-turn spoken word navigation in Google Maps so you have another option. The difference is that Google Maps will download mapping info as you drive so you will need to ensure you have a data bundle.” says Mr Hayward. “Our 50MB data pack for $6.00 is ideal for PrePay customers and all our Pay Monthly plans come with data bundles included.”
He says “the Optimus One’s 3.2” capacitive tuch screen with clear 320×480 pixel resolution, bundled with an in-car phone cradle & charger makes this handset the perfect two-in-one Christmas gift for the driver in the family.”
Entries into the 2degrees: IDEOS So Smart Style Challenge have been flooding into nzgirl these last few weeks providing some much appreciated fashion-candy for the ladies among the 2degrees team.
This has led us to the conclusion that, we really are a fashionable bunch us New Zealanders! Which is probably why 2degrees fits in so well… (have you done something different with your hair? I just love what you have done with that degree darrrling…)
These entries don’t just look beautiful, they are ludicrously clever. Unique, gorgeous looks aren’t always the easiest to pull together, but thankfully the IDEOS smartphone is here to make it all that much easier to hunt out your own unique dress aesthetic and wear it.
Take a look at some the amazing entries we have received so far. And if you are an aspiring stylist, fashion Goddess or just your average Kiwi girl with a penchant for shopping then chop-chop! Entries close 5pm on Friday 10 December. See you there oh-so-fashionable-ones!
2degrees opens two new stores in one weekend - Westgate and Manukau City centre
2degrees continued its charge into bricks and mortar retail presence with the launch of two new retail stores in Auckland.
The blue ribbon was cut at 9am and 10am respectively on Saturday at its new Westfield Manukau and Westgate Shopping Centre stores.
Chief Sales Officer Mark Cleary said of the new store openings: “People are saying that the retail sector is still struggling and hasn’t really emerged from the recession. We’re proud to be bucking the trend as one of the few New Zealand companies making new investments in retail.”
“We’re making it as easy as possible for our growing customer base to contact us at any time of the day or night, through our New Zealand based call centre and online.”
Mr Cleary says in-store staff have been overwhelmed by the positive response from customers.
“Our customers have told us they want to meet 2degrees face to face, and to have the opportunity to hold their new phone in their hand prior to purchase.”
In the now familiar blue and white livery, the new stores continue the theme modelled on the traditional ‘Kiwi backyard’, complete with white-wash weatherboard wall, deck, garden fence and welcome mat.
Mr Cleary says that the business would have in excess of 30 stores open by this time next year, and that these would be a mix of 2degrees owned and accredited dealer operated stores.
Mr Cleary says the two new stores represent part of the first wave of this new accredited dealers’ network.
Simon Jamieson, Director, Corona Communications Ltd owns the new Westgate store; while the Manukau store is owned by Lailun Khan from Pacific Mobile. Mrs Khan has extensive mobile retail experience through her role as Chief Executive of the Digicell telecommunications provider in Fiji.
2degrees opened its first retail store in Sylvia Park, Auckland on Wednesday 13 October, and this was swiftly followed by new stores in Newmarket, Auckland and a store in Wellington CBD the following week. A 2degrees-owned Christchurch store is planned to open shortly with many more stores in rollout to come.
2degrees’ commitment to the retail sector is expected to generate over 200 new jobs over the next 12-months through its own stores and accredited dealer stores.
2degrees is set to bring mobile internet to more New Zealanders with the announcement of five new, competitively priced Pay Monthly plans that it says will make going online via your mobile more affordable than ever.
2degrees says the changes to their Pay Monthly plans means they now have options to suit every type of wallet and deliver better any-network value for mobile customers compared to any-network monthly plans offered by Telecom XT and Vodafone.
Available with open terms (month-to-month contract) or with a 12- or 24-month commitment, the new range of Pay Monthly plans include bundled minutes and text to call any mobile or landline in New Zealand, a 3G data allotment, and Carryover Minutes(TM), where any unused calling time accrues for up to one year.
The offers are coming out, coincidentally, as a new report this week from the Commerce Commission shows the need for lower mobile prices is still sorely needed in New Zealand.
In benchmarking New Zealand prices for fixed line and mobile telecommunications services against international prices, the report showed that Kiwis continue to pay more than many other members of the OECD. In comparison to Australia, for example, New Zealand consumers pay significantly more for mobile voice and SMS plans for medium and high usage.
According to Malcolm Phillipps, head of Product Marketing at 2degrees, never before has there been this sort of value in a contract or pay monthly product.
“Our new plans are part of our promise to keep New Zealanders connected to who ever, when ever they want to, for less. We’ve delivered more value to prepay users, now we’re doing the same for smartphone and contract customers. There is nothing comparable in the market today.”
|Pay Monthly Plan||Included Minutes||Included Texts||Included Data|
|Pay Monthly $29||60||1,000||50 MB|
|Pay Monthly $39||120||1,000||50 MB|
|Pay Monthly $59||210||1,000||100 MB|
|Pay Monthly $89||360||1,000||100 MB|
|Pay Monthly $129||600||1,000||250MB|
If customers join one of the new Pay Monthly plans before 31 December they’ll also receive 2degrees’ Bonus100 offer, which gives them an extra 100 minutes every month for 12months to call any landline or mobile phone in New Zealand.
Out of bundle rates are 44 cents/minute for calls and 9 cents per text to anyone in New Zealand. Casual data costs 50 cents/MB anywhere in the country.
For Bonus100 and Pay Monthly full terms and conditions please visit: www.2degreesmobile.co.nz
2degrees is excited about the opportunity to provide competitive mobile services to rural New Zealanders.
The company notes today’s announcement of five bids for the Rural Broadband Initiative and will be interested to see how important questions about the best interests of customers and use of public money are answered.
Chief Executive Eric Hertz says 2degrees will seek assurances that public funding leads to a real choice for rural customers, rather than simply creating a ‘high speed’ version of the mobile duopoly New Zealanders lived with for so long.
“2degrees has invested in a brand new 3G network, halving prepay prices and vastly improving data prices,” says Mr Hertz.
“Without public funding, none of the mobile operators would be considering fast rural broadband investment. We need to make sure that funding sees more than two players competing equally and vigorously for rural customers’ business.”
Mr Hertz says history has proven how well New Zealand mobile users fare when competition is left to the incumbents.
“That’s why the detail behind promises of open access is so important.”
2degrees introduces the largest and longest lasting mobile data prepay plan in NZ
In response to customer demand for its mobile broadband products, 2degrees today introduced a 12GB mobile broadband zone Data Pack lasting a full 180 days for $150. This is the largest and longest-lasting mobile broadband product on the market, giving customers even better value and more time to enjoy mobile Internet at their fingertips.
“Some customers are using our USB modems and WiFi routers as complete replacements for their home fixed-line connections, so this new data pack is perfect for them. But it’s also great for customers that want price certainty without topping up every month. Buy it once, and enjoy mobile data for nearly six months,” says Larrie Moore, Chief Marketing Officer, 2degrees.
12GB is the largest plan on the NZ market, significantly larger than standard competitor offerings which max out at 4GB (doubling to 8GB if you exceed your cap). Lasting 180 days, this plan is also the longest lasting pre pay plan available, meaning you don’t need to sign a contract to get the best rates on the market. Quite simply at 180 days validity, and $12.50 per GB at full ulitisation, this is the best mobile broadband plan in New Zealand today.
In addition to launching the 12GB plan, 2degrees is also making launch offers permanent across their other plans. The full Mobile Broadband pricing from 2degrees is shown in the table below:
|Nationwide 50MB Data Pack||50MB||30 days||$6|
|Broadband Zone 1GB Data Pack||1GB||30 days||$20|
|Broadband Zone 3GB Data Pack||3GB||60 days||$50|
|Broadband Zone 12GB Data Pack||12GB||180 days||$150|
|USB Modem with included Broadband Zone Data||2GB||30 days||$99|
|USB Modem with included Broadband Zone Data||12GB||180 days||$199|
|Huawei E5 WiFi Router with included Broadband Zone Data||2GB||30 days||$279|
The announcement is the latest in a series of moves to increase access to mobile Internet services. In August, 2degrees launched Mobile Broadband Data Packs for use in its broadband zones located in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. In September, 2degrees launched the Huawei E5 WiFi router to complement the USB modem devices already offered on its 3G network.
The new Data Pack changes go into effect from 1 November.
‘Smartphone for everyone’ is first NZ device based on latest Android™ 2.2 operating system.
2degrees is the exclusive supplier of a heavyweight addition to its 3G handset lineup: the new IDEOS™ U8150 smartphone from Huawei, a device that brings full connectivity and the capabilities of the Internet to a phone. Powered by the Android™ 2.2 operating system with Google™, the new IDEOS packs big features in a small, stylish package.
“We think that the IDEOS is a real game-changer for the New Zealand market,” said Larrie Moore, Chief Marketing Officer for 2degrees. “When customers try out the new Android operating system, they’ll see that there really are other options out there for smartphone users. It’s got more features at a better price – it’s the smartphone for everyone.”
The new smartphone, which is the world’s first mass market smartphone to be powered by Android 2.2, redefines the “Android for all” concept by combining full feature performance with high-quality hardware and software at a very competitive price.
The ergonomically designed IDEOS provides a variety of ways to access the internet, boasting downlink speeds of up to 7.2Mb/s and offering 3G + Wi-Fi dual network support. The device also doubles up as a Wi-Fi router, making IDEOS an all-in-one solution for a range of wireless connectivity options.
The IDEOS not only runs faster, based on the latest 2.2 version of Android, but also supports functions such as voice dialing, voice navigation, and the ability to run applications in the SD card, meaning users aren’t limited by the built-in memory. With more than 80,000 applications available in the Android Market, IDEOS provides a wide range of communication, entertainment, and business management applications.
The IDEOS is available for RRP $379 from 2degrees stores, retail locations and through the online store from 1 November.
International markets that presently carry the IDEOS, include the US and UK.
Google, the Google logo, Android Market and Android are trademarks of Google Inc.
2degrees has rolled out the welcome mat, literally, with the launch of their first retail stores.
According to Chief Sales Officer, Mark Cleary, the company has spent many a long month in creating the store concept to ensure that the space was just right for customers to come and meet 2degrees face-to-face for the first time.
“From word go, we’ve made it free and easy for customers to contact us at any time of the day or night, through our call centre. However, with the rapid growth in customer numbers and the continual release of new products and services, it’s key for 2degrees to make a commitment to a complete retail presence,” says Mark.
Modelled on the traditional ‘Kiwi backyard’, customers step on the welcome mat when they enter the store and are greeted with signs of home; the traditional white-wash weatherboard wall, the wooden deck and garden fence.
“We’re delighted with how the stores have developed. They are warm and welcoming, there is nothing sterile or clinical about them,” he says.
The effort put into the store has been equal to the effort that 2degrees has shown in selecting the right retail store staff.
“We spent a lot of time identifying people for the stores. Ensuring that not only were they sharp when it came to the product and technology, but that they were people who could listen, engage and be very good communicators,” says Mark.
For Mark, an industry veteran who at one stage in his career had oversight of over 100 mobile retail stores across Ireland, the move into the retail space for 2degrees is not without its risks.
“People are saying that the retail sector is still struggling and it hasn’t really emerged from the recession. We’re bucking the trend and are one of only a limited number of New Zealand companies making new investments in retail.
“We’ve taken the approach to open our own stores, yet also back a number of accredited dealers who will be opening 2degrees stores of their own across New Zealand over the next six months. Some of them will also be based on the road so they offer the added benefit of going direct to customers,” says Mark.
2degrees will open its first retail store in Sylvia Park, Auckland on Wednesday 13 October, followed by Newmarket, Auckland and a store in Wellington CBD within the following week. The 2degrees owned Christchurch store is planned to open shortly with lots more stores in rollout to come.
2degrees commitment to the retail sector will generate over 200 new jobs over the next 12-months through its own stores and accredited dealer stores.
New Zealand’s newest mobile network, 2degrees, stood firm in keeping their mobile prices the same following the recent GST rise and they’re giving their $10 Text Pack a similar treatment.
According to Chief Marketing Officer Larrie Moore, the $10 Text Pack which upsized from 500 to 1000 text as part of a recent promotion has been so well received by customers that it’s here to stay.
“Our $10 Text Pack will be upsized to 1000 any network text messages from 8 October,” he said.
2degrees customers can add the $10 Text Pack to their pre pay or Pay Monthly account just by texting ‘buy10txt’ to 233.
There’ll be no GST increase passed on to 2degrees‘ customers post 1 October with New Zealand’s newest mobile network refusing to increase its prices to reflect the increase in GST.According to 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer Larrie Moore, 2degrees is committed to keeping mobile simple and affordable for New Zealanders.
“We offer New Zealanders some of the best value Mobile Broadband, Prepay and Pay Monthly options. This will remain unchanged post 1 October.”
“Our new Pay Monthly plan launched recently, with a price of $39.00 will remain at $39.00 after the GST increase, in stark contrast to some other mobile providers who are raising prices of many of their products,” he said.
2degrees’ Pay Monthly plan offers 120 minutes of calling time to any network in New Zealand and 600 texts for $39.00. In addition, any unused minutes can be carried over from one month to the next for up to one year. This innovative ‘Pay Monthly’ plan is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and offers flexibility found in only a few other developed markets like the United States.
2degrees has scooped the Silver award in the Supreme Awards for Contact Centres with over 50 seats at the 2010 CRM Contact Centre Awards held in Auckland on 25 September.
The CRM Contact Centre Awards recognise excellence in standards of customer service delivered by Contact Centres throughout New Zealand. The Supreme awards are split into two categories - Contact Centres with less than 50 seats, and those with more than 50 seats.
The CRM Contact Centre Awards draw together a broad range of industries, continuing the now 13th consecutive year tradition of acknowledging companies who provide the highest levels of customer service and understand the crucial role it plays in how an organisation is perceived by customers and/or prospects.
To determine which company provided the best service, Contact Centres were anonymously ‘audited’ by phone and email and evaluated based on a wide range of criteria which included answer time, greeting, warmth of welcome, quality of listening, call control, product knowledge, sale awareness, call conclusion, professionalism, anticipating future needs and overall attitude and efficiency. Email responses were evaluated based on time to respond, personalisation, content, style, spelling, commercial awareness, respondent identification, anticipating future needs, conclusion/follow up and overall politeness and professionalism.
According to Richard Fuli, 2degrees call centre manager, receiving the award was a great honour.
“It’s a great honour and a priviledge for us to place this high in the Supreme Awards and inspires us to aim higher next year.”
In just its first year of operation 2degrees has been awarded:
1. TUANZ Telecommunications Carrier of the Year (Winner) 2010
2. NZ Marketing - Supreme Award (Winner) 2010
3. NZ Marketing - Customer Services Award (Winner) 2010
4. NZ Marketing - Transformational Marketing Award (Winner) 2010
5. CRM Contact Centre Awards - Supreme Award more than 50 Seats (Silver) 2010
New research shows that most New Zealand mobile phone users signed up to monthly plans are not receiving the full value of what they pay for.
Commissioned by 2degrees, the research shows that 81 percent of people on a monthly contract that paid their own bill had not used all of the minutes included with their plan at some stage over the past six months. Only 12 percent of those on a contract had managed to use all of their monthly plan’s included calling minutes, leaving seven percent with no clue how many minutes they used.
According to 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer, Larrie Moore, the ‘lost minute’ phenomenon is more obvious when the monthly bill is freshest in the minds of those surveyed, with 70 percent certain they hadn’t used all of their plan’s included minutes in the last month.
“Mobile phone contracts are quite unique because consumers are asked to guess how much they’ll use up front, commit to a monthly charge and then have what they’ve paid for, but not used, taken away.
“Consumers pay in good faith for a certain amount of usage, and we think they deserve a better deal.”
2degrees Pay Monthly plan allows users to keep (or ‘carryover’) their unused minutes every month for up to 12 months.
This innovative ‘Pay Monthly’ plan is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and offers flexibility found in only a few other developed markets like the United States.
For $39.00 per month, 2degrees customers get 120 minutes of calling time and 600 texts to any phone network in New Zealand. 2degrees’ Pay Monthly plan also operates on a one-month basis, so customers are not locked into long-term contracts.
“We’re offer a monthly plan on simple terms. You get more value for your dollar and keep what you’ve paid for; any unused minutes are carried over each month for a whole year. You pay less, and get more calling time to anyone in New Zealand, without getting locked in.
“Even if you do use all of the included minutes, you don’t have to worry about high out-of-plan rates, because 2degrees has a low calling rate of 44c per minute to any network,” said Larrie.
About the survey: Phoenix Research conducted an online survey of 510 New Zealanders aged 18 years and older from 27 August to 1 September, 2010. To participate, respondents must own a post-paid mobile phone and pay the bill themselves. The sample was weighted to be representative of the age and gender profile of post-paid self-pay mobile users.
The latest data available from work undertaken by Kudos Research showed approximately 660,000 New Zealanders own at least one mobile phone on a post-pay account and pay the bill themselves.
The Phoenix and Kudos research have both been sponsored by 2degrees.
All calls are charged by the minute, with part minutes rounded up to the next full minute.
For full terms and conditions visit: http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/paymonthly
To catch a glimpse of the latest 2degrees’ Pay Monthly Television Commercial visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW0XmaOzKRE&feature=player_embedded
Mobile phone users are embracing number portability, with record numbers now taking their phone number with them when they switch mobile networks.
On Saturday 28 August at 12.52pm a mobile user ported their Telecom 027 number to 2degrees, and in the course of doing so became the 100,000th customer to port their mobile number to New Zealand’s newest mobile network.
According to 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer, Larrie Moore, mobile users are now realising that they’re not tied to one network for fear of losing their number and their contacts.
“Each week we see a steady number of customers bringing their mobile number with them when they join 2degrees.
“Consumers have seen our advertisements which tell them they can keep their whole number with 2degrees—even the 021 or 027 bit.
That’s certainly been a contributor to the boom in porting, but we also believe there’s a groundswell of consumers looking for better value and finding that with 2degrees,” says Larrie.
In the year since 2degrees’ launch, number porting figures in New Zealand have more than trebled over the previous year. From August 2009 to July 2010, a total of 155,651 consumers ported their mobile number, with 64 per cent of those moving their number to 2degrees. Of those ports, around 80 per cent were customers bringing their Vodafone number to 2degrees.
With the increase in people porting their number from one mobile network to another, 2degrees maintains that it makes other mobile networks practice of ‘on-network’ pricing offers increasingly untenable.
“A mobile phone number is no longer an indication of which mobile network you belong to. The move to any network pricing removes the worry consumers have about who they can call and for what price,” says Larrie.
What is number portability?
Number portability, which was introduced in New Zealand on 1 April 2007, allows consumers to take residential or business phone, fax and mobile numbers with them when switching between providers.
Number portability gives New Zealanders the ability to choose a telecommunications provider that best meets their needs, without having to worry about the cost and hassle of having to change their number.
Official number porting figures are managed by the Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF).
How do you port your mobile number?
Transferring your mobile number from another network to 2degrees can be done easily online.
Customers just need to fill out a simple form on the 2degrees’ website, and 2degrees does the rest.
The entire process usually takes less than three hours to complete. Information regarding the number porting process is available online at: www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/transfer-details
2degrees Mobile Broadband has arrived! And if you’re in the zone you’ll find it easy to stay connected whether you’re at home or on the go, without it costing you a fortune. And we won’t lock you into a long term contract either, because that’s just not the 2degrees way.
To find out whether you’re in the zone visit: www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/broadbandzones
SPECIAL LAUNCH OFFER!
You can join 2degrees with an exclusive Mobile Broadband deal. Purchase a USB modem for $99 and recieve 2GB of data. This offer is valid while stocks last - so don’t muck about! Data is valid for 30-days.
You’ll also get a free 2-for-1 movie pass to use at Hoyts and Berkley Cinemas.
Today’s decision to regulate Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) is a win for consumers, opening the door to greater competition and even better deals for New Zealand consumers and businesses.
2degrees Chief Executive Officer Eric Hertz says the decision by Communications Minister Steven Joyce is a boost for competition.
“When 2degrees entered the market we cut standard prepay rates in half. Yesterday, we celebrated our first birthday by launching our 3G network, announcing plans that make mobile broadband affordable,” says Eric.
“Certainty around mobile termination rates gives us increased confidence as we plan further network investment, sign leases for stores and prepare to offer pay monthly plans,” says Eric.
2degrees is also encouraged by the message the decision sends to the industry.
“The government’s vigilance will be crucial in coming months because 2degrees has plans that will unsettle its competitors, but delight mobile consumers.”
Mr Hertz is hopeful the decision will be followed by a fast standard terms determination process - the final step in setting realistic mobile termination rates.
Excessive mobile termination rates have held competition back for more than a decade. All OECD countries, except Mexico, regulate MTRs and this decision will bring New Zealand into line with international best practice.
1. In November 2008 the Commerce Commission commenced its investigation into whether mobile termination rates (MTRs) (the toll networks charge each other to terminate calls on their network) should be regulated.
2. The Commission provided its Final Report to the Minister in February 2010 after an extensive consultation process recommending acceptance of commercial undertakings offered by Vodafone and Telecom as an alternative to regulation.
3. The Commission reconsidered its recommendation following a request from the Minister to consider the impact of any new retail plans on the Commission’s recommendation and provided a final Reconsideration Report to the Minister recommending regulation of MTRS on 16 June 2010.
4. Following further consultation, the Minister today accepted the Commission’s recommendation by announcing regulation.
5. Mobile termination access services (as they are formally known) will now be added as a regulated service to Schedule 1 of the Telecommunications Act. Once this takes effect the Commerce Commission will commence a ’standard terms determination process’ to establish the prices and other terms which mobile network operators must offer to other network operators for mobile termination services. The standard terms determination process can take several months.
6. Excessive MTRs are universally recognised as resulting in higher retail prices for consumers, lower usage, and reduced competition.
7. MTRs have been regulated in all OECD countries bar Mexico and New Zealand and today’s decision brings New Zealand into line with international best practice on this issue.
2degrees celebrated its first birthday today by launching its national 3G services and a range of data plans to meet New Zealanders growing demand for more affordable mobile broadband.
Chief Executive Eric Hertz reviewed the company’s progress, outlining its plans to extend its game-changing approach to voice and text into the mobile broadband market.
“On day one we halved standard prepay rates for calling and texting, and recently we launched a range of plans that make it even more affordable to call and text anyone in NZ. Now we’re changing the game again – this time giving mobile broadband the 2degrees treatment.”
Customers can connect to the internet using 2degrees mobile broadband via a handset or USB modem. Data is available in 50MB, 512MB, 2GB or 10GB packs and validity periods range from 30 to 90 days, depending on the pack purchased.
Mr Hertz said 2degrees was the first telecommunications company to provide bundles allowing New Zealanders to keep unused data beyond 30 days.
“2degrees is all about leading value and doing things differently for our customers. Today we are offering New Zealanders in our broadband zones more data, for less, with more time to use it, all without having to sign up to a long term contract,” he said.
“Our national 50MB Data Pack, for just $6, allows customers to get connected quickly and cost effectively wherever they are in the country, while our other Data Packs and USB modems provide great value for heavy data users within our Mobile Broadband Zones.”
“We want to provide consumers with as much choice as possible. Thanks to number portability and 2degrees microSIMs, New Zealanders can move to 2degrees for voice, text and data-intensive devices,” says Eric.
About the 2degrees 3G network
It is expected customers will receive average speeds of 800kbps to 1400kbps on the 2degrees 3G network. 2degrees technology partner is Huawei, a world-leading global telecommunications solutions provider.
The 2degrees 3G network is a separate network to its existing 2G network. The separation of the 2G/EDGE network from the 3G network means full redundancy in the event of any unexpected service issues. 2degrees customers with 3G-capable handsets can make use of the new network right away by making sure their handsets are set to dual-mode, though most 3G handsets should detect the change automatically.
2degrees’ larger data packs, 2GB and above, can be used in 2degrees Mobile Broadband Zones covering most of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Customers can visit www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/broadband to see if they are in zone.
As of Friday 30 July, 2degrees customers will be able to swap their current SIM cards for one of the new 2degrees microSIMs.
As their name suggests, microSIMs are a smaller version of a traditional mobile phone SIM card and are designed for use with the latest Apple mobile devices.
According to Chief Marketing Officer, Larrie Moore, 2degrees customers have been vocal in their requests for the new SIM card.
“We have a significant number of smartphone users on the 2degrees network and a reasonable percentage of those are using an Apple mobile device.
“We will be enabling our customers to swap their current SIM card for a new microSIM, free of charge, from Friday 30 July*.”
A SIM-swap is the transfer of all the customer’s account details, including their current balance over to a new SIM card. To take advantage of the SIM-swap 2degrees customers are required to call: 0800 022 022 from Friday 30 July to initiate the process.
“We will also be selling the microSIM from Tuesday 3 August for $20.00 (with $20 of credit loaded) at Dick Smith stores,” said Larrie.
*Free SIM-swap offer subject to availability.
2degrees, New Zealand’s newest mobile network company, today continued its mission to bring value to the New Zealand pre-pay mobile consumer with the release of three new voice Talk Packs:
• The Everyone100 Pack offers 100 minutes of calling time to any mobile or landline network in New Zealand for $30 – an effective rate of just 30c per minute making this the lowest, and only, any network pre-pay talk pack in New Zealand.
• The India120 and China120 International Talk Packs provide 120 minutes of talk time to any mobile or landline in those countries for $10 – an effective rate of 8.3c per minute.
The new Talk Packs, combined with the recently released $10 Text Pack and the $6 50MB Data Pack, means that 2degrees pre-pay customers can enjoy even better value on the things they use the most.
According to 2degrees chief marketing officer, Larrie Moore, the new Everyone100 Talk Pack gives 2degrees customers the best pre-pay any network calling rates available in New Zealand.
“With Everyone100, 2degrees is now the market leader with any-network pre-pay rates,” says Larrie.
“Never before has there been this sort of value on pre-pay,” he said.
Everyone100: Call anyone on any network
With the Everyone100 Pack, customers don’t need to worry about who they’re calling or to which network they belong. When they buy 100 minutes, they get just that, keeping mobile use simple—the way it ought to be.
“Customers are hungry for value. They don’t want to have to think about the way they use their phone, or modify their calling behaviour to get a decent deal. People want to be able to pick up their phone and call whoever they want, whenever they want. The new Everyone100 Pack lets them do just that,” said Larrie.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell what network someone belongs to as more and more people are keeping their mobile number when they switch networks. Any-network packages like Everyone100 are therefore becoming more important for customers to provide them certainty around calling costs and prevent bill shock.
Talk Packs for India and China
Recognising the need to add value for international calling in addition to local, 2degrees today also released the first two in a series of international talk packs. The India120 and China120 packs provide great calling rates to two populous countries that many new New Zealanders, students and visitors call on a regular basis.
“We see these two markets as important ones to many New Zealanders, who want to be able to contact friends and family overseas at affordable prices. Instead of having to use complicated calling cards and increased risk of poor call quality, customers can now call home at any time directly from their mobile,” says Larrie.
How to Buy the New Packs
• Everyone100 Pack - text ‘buy every100’ to 233.
• China120 Pack – text ‘buy china120’ to 233.
• India120 Pack – text ‘buy india120’ to 233.
The Packs are valid for 30 days, and can be purchased multiple times each month.
For full terms and conditions visit: www.2degreesmobile.co.nz
2degrees, New Zealand’s newest mobile network company, hopes the government will move quickly and accept today’s Commerce Commission recommendation on Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs).
2degrees chief operating officer, Bill McCabe, says the recommendation to regulate the charges operators make to connect calls to each others’ networks is a positive prelude to real improvements in mobile call rates.
“We won’t see change until this decision is accepted by the Minister and the price-setting process is concluded. That leaves plenty of opportunity for Vodafone and Telecom to stall the process, so we’re hoping for a quick decision and a fast process that allows 2degrees to put even better prices in the market,” says Bill.
According to Bill, 2degrees has had incredible support from New Zealanders on the MTR issue.
“It’s rare for an industry issue like this to capture the hearts and minds of consumers. We’re extremely grateful for the support of 13,000 New Zealanders who lodged their protest in the ‘Drop The Rate Mate’ campaign,” he says.
New data from Telecommunications Carriers Forum shows Kiwis taking ownership of their numbers
The number of 2degrees customers who have brought their existing mobile number with them when joining New Zealand’s newest mobile network has now reached 75,000.
Called ‘number porting’, the ability for a mobile user to keep ownership of their number when switching networks is a relatively unknown and underutilised service in New Zealand.
According to Bill McCabe, chief operating officer for 2degrees: “New Zealand has one of the fastest, most efficient porting systems in the world, but this is only now starting to be understood by customers. Since our launch last year there is now a real choice for customers who are searching to get the best deal from mobile providers.”
The number porting figures, managed by the Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF), have shown a significant and steady increase since August 2009 and of the 122,325 total ports for the year ending May 2010 around 61 percent of those ports were people bringing their mobile number to 2degrees. Of these, around 80 percent were people moving to 2degrees from the Vodafone network.
Prior to 2degrees’ launch, number porting figures in New Zealand would typically fluctuate between 3,000-5,000 ports a month.
“There was a significant peak in ports in September last year following our launch with 17,313 mobile ports, and the numbers have stayed consistently high since then. Last month alone there were 10,116 ports with more than 50 percent of those ports people bringing their number to 2degrees,” says Bill.
With the increase in people porting their number from one mobile network to another 2degrees maintains that it makes the practice of ‘on-network’ only pricing offers increasingly untenable for other mobile providers.
“We’ve avoided this issue by delivering our customers great any-network prices so they can call their friends and family no matter what network they are on,” says Bill.
What is number portability?
Number portability means that you own your phone number, and get to take it with you when changing networks. Your number is a part of your identity, and protected by law to make it portable, so you can carry it with you wherever you go. Thanks to legal changes in the New Zealand marketplace, that means that you can have a 021, 027 or 029 prefix to your mobile number and be on 2degrees.
2degrees customers can text the shortcode 300 to find out if the person they are calling is on the 2degrees network or not.
How to Port Your Mobile Number
Transferring your mobile number from another network to 2degrees can be done easily online. Customers just need to fill out a simple form, and 2degrees does the rest. The entire process usually takes about three hours to complete.
Information regarding the number porting process is available online at: www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/transfer-details.
Until 30 June, customers that bring their mobile number from another network to 2degrees will receive $10 top up credit.
2degrees 50MB Data Pack add on at $6 with no limit on renewal frequency makes mobile data more accessible for ordinary Kiwis
2degrees, New Zealand’s newest mobile network company, today released its first data pack, offering 50MB of mobile data for just $6. This represents the lowest prepay mobile data plan entry price point available on the market.
Buy mobile data as and when you need it
The 2degrees 50MB Data Pack has been released in response to express customer demand says Larrie Moore, Chief Marketing Officer. “The call for access to prepay mobile data is increasing. Our new 50MB Data Pack is the accessible, simple, and flexible entry to mobile prepay data that Kiwis have been asking for.”
Until now, prepay customers have been faced with the option of having to outlay a minimum of $10 to access a data plan on their phone. Now for just $6, customers can access 50MB of data, good for 30 days, and can renew as often as they like within the same month, without having to worry about being tipped on to an expensive casual data rate.
Better options for Smartphone users
Smartphone users and those simply wanting to access mobile email or Facebook will find the 2degrees 50MB Data Pack an accessible and manageable entry point to mobile data.
The launch of 2degrees 50MB Data Pack creates new opportunities for iPhone users, as the punitive two year contracts first signed up to in July 2008 begin to expire. Initially locked into high-price data commitments, many iPhone users will shortly have the opportunity to consider better value options with another provider.
How to get the 2degrees 50MB Data Pack
Current 2degrees customers can purchase the data pack by texting ‘buy 50mb’ to short code 233.
Valid for 30 days, the pack can be repurchased multiple times each month without complicated conditions or the purchase of any other package, an important differentiator from current options.
When the data allotment is nearly used, or when 29 days have elapsed, users are advised by text message and invited to buy another $6 Data Pack, If they don’t, they switch to casual data rates.
Mobile data is available on a variety of handset models, including the iPhone, and even simple data-enabled mobile phones. The new Data Pack makes 2degrees an affordable option for smartphone users, with data priced at just 12 cents per megabyte.
What can you do with 50MB?
Mobile data enables phone users to experience more of the Internet at their fingertips. Based on estimates, 50MB of data could allow users to:
• Visit up to 400 mobile websites, or
• Send up to 2,000 emails (without attachments), or
• Download up to 25 of their favourite songs.
2degrees Data Packs are available today for purchase from any 2degrees retailer or by texting ‘buy 50mb’ to 233.
More than 200,000 New Zealanders have joined 2degrees since it launched in August 2009 with the promise of bringing better value to New Zealand mobile users.
The launch of 2degrees 50MB Data Pack is another significant step towards fulfilling that promise to Kiwi mobile customers.
Plus a buy-one-get-one free launch offer
2degrees, New Zealand’s newest mobile network company, today launched its first text bundle with 2degrees $10 Text, offering 500 texts to any New Zealand network.
At a cost of 2cents a text to any network, the offer reflects 2degrees’ continued commitment to keeping Kiwis connected, no matter what their phone prefix.
“Mobile text users have largely been held hostage, paying high prices to text friends and family on other networks,” says Larrie Moore, 2degrees Chief Marketing Officer. “With 2degrees $10 Text, our customers get a great rate to text anyone anytime so they can stay better connected, regardless of the network they text.”
Rising portability increases need for any-net deal
“As more and more people switch networks and take their number with them, mobile users can no longer be sure whether they are texting ‘on net or off net’. An ‘any network’ deal gives customers certainty around how much they are spending when they use their mobile.” says Larrie.
Buy one, get one free
As an additional promotion to mark the launch of the new $10 Text Pack, 2degrees is offering a buy-one-get-one free incentive until 30 June. Customers can access this offer once, to receive a $10 credit to spend on another $10 Text Pack that will kick in the following month.
“With a total of 1,000 texts to send, I expect there to be some sore thumbs across our customer base in the coming months,” says Larrie.
The 2degrees $10 Text Pack is valid for 30 days, and auto-renews each month. The Packs are available today for purchase by texting ‘buy 10txt’ to 233.
On launch in August last year, 2degrees halved the price of standard prepay mobile calls and text, attracting more than 200,000 Kiwi customers. 2degrees $10 Text has been created in response to clear feedback from would-be customers who need the financial certainty of an ‘any-net’ text bundle.
2degrees, New Zealand’s newest mobile communications company, is supportive of the Commerce Commission’s draft reconsideration released today now recommending regulation of mobile termination rates.
2degrees Chief Operating Officer, Bill McCabe, says “Both the Minister and the Commission should be commended for their rigorous approach to ensuring that consumers will benefit from much greater competition in this critical industry. ”
The Commerce Commission’s draft view is that the Minister for Communications and Information Technology should regulate mobile termination rates and not accept undertakings from Telecom and Vodafone.
“MTRs are regulated in almost all OECD countries and are tumbling around the world to ensure strong competition. Consumers should expect the same in NZ. There are over 4.5 million mobile phones in this country and all users will benefit from more innovation, cheaper calls, texts and data services that come from more competition in the telecommunications market,” says Bill.
While the decision to regulate mobile termination rates is not yet final, we welcome today’s development and will continue to urge the Minister to regulate MTRs and set in place a sea change for New Zealand that will deliver benefits for mobile consumers for years to come.”
2degrees welcomes the announcement today by the Minister for Telecommunications, Steven Joyce, that the Commerce Commission should reconsider its recommendation to impose above cost Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) in light of recent market changes.
MTRs are the ‘toll charges’ paid by telephone companies to connect calls to mobile networks, and New Zealand has some of the most expensive in the world. The Commerce Commission’s investigation into the possible regulation of MTRs has been ongoing since May 2008.
2degrees Chief Operating Officer, Bill McCabe, says “Clearly this is a complex issue, however recent retail offers have undermined the basis of the Commission’s recommendation. The Minister is right to request that it reconsiders its views.
“The voluntary undertakings were supposed to represent the best commercial offers from the large mobile operators as an alternative to regulation but as soon as the Commission had recommended these rates to the Minister, Vodafone then started offering much lower rates for on-net calls to its own retail customers. That is the major cause for the Minister’s concern as discriminatory pricing is accepted worldwide as a significant barrier to competition. The Commission must feel gamed by the incumbent operator.
“The Commission’s task is now simple. If the basis for their initial recommendation is now flawed, then it must recommend regulating these access prices to cost as already supported by Commissioner Mazzoleni and consistent with international best practice – MTRs are regulated everywhere else in the world. It should be able to provide the Minister with a new recommendation within days rather than weeks. Delay merely plays into the hands of the incumbents and we are encouraged that the Minister has asked for a decision as soon as possible.
“Lower termination rates mean lower prices for consumers and more competition. That’s why they are tumbling fast around the world. Only last month the UK regulatory authority, Ofcom, announced plans to cut rates in the UK to about 1c by 2014, which is around 1/6 the rate proposed by the New Zealand incumbents.”
Always one to enjoy a good story, 2degrees mobile has taken this literary appreciation to a new level, announcing a new distribution partnership with REDgroup retail who operate the Whitcoulls and Bennetts stores in New Zealand.
Customers at Whitcoulls and Bennetts are now able to purchase 2degrees SIM cards as well as top-up vouchers from all of the 75 stores located nationwide.
“We’re always focused on making it simple for people to purchase 2degrees products and services whenever they want to and wherever they are,” said 2degrees CEO, Eric Hertz.
“This partnership complements the already extensive nationwide distribution footprint we have with over 2,700 outlets selling SIM cards, 6,000 outlets selling top-up vouchers and 400 retail outlets selling our handsets,” he said.
For Peter Kalan, Managing Director of REDgroup retail operations in New Zealand, the addition of 2degrees is an important extension to their product offering.
“For our customers keeping in touch with friends and family is essential. We know that maintaining a reasonable work life balance is getting more difficult for all of us, so the ability for the Whitcoulls and Bennetts stores to enable our customers to easily keep connected, be this via mobile or even e-books, is viewed as an exciting emerging service.”
The full list of 2degrees partners is: Whitcoulls, Bennetts, Dick Smith Electronics, Warehouse Stationery, PAK’nSAVE, New World, Foodtown, Countdown, Woolworths, Shell, Mobil, BP and other independently owned petrol stations served by Red Circle, along with Gilmours, Toops and Trents, who serve as the primary distributor to independent convenience retailers.
2degrees is delighted to be a key sponsor of Pasifika 2010.
We will be running a Pasifika art competition where entrants can give the 2degrees logo their own special Pasifika look. We’re looking for designs inspired by street art, weaving, tapa designs, materials or tattoos, or artists can just go wild and let their creativity take over. Visitors to the festival can draw their design at the 2degrees Art Zone located near the Emerging Artists Stage or download the competition entry in advance here (PDF) . Email your entries to us at Pasifikaart@2degreesmobile.co.nz or bring it with you on the day.
The winner and two runners up will win a year’s free airtime on 2degrees and the winning design will be showcased in local press and displayed at the 2degrees corporate office. Other favourites will be shown on a special event gallery that will be set up on the 2degrees Facebook fan page. Terms and conditions do apply.*
2degrees Mobile will also be offering visitors to the Pasifika Festival free 5 minute phone calls to anywhere in the world via their ‘2degrees Connection Booths’ located at the 2degrees Connection Point in the Samoan Village at the event on 13th March. The only option not available to festival goers is calling satellite phones and our standard pre-paid calling conditions apply.
For more details on Pasifika, download the official programme (PDF).
*Years free airtime comprises of 12 x $30 monthly top up vouchers. See full terms and conditions for details.
Full Terms and conditions:
All entries and the associated image become the property of Two Degrees Mobile Limited on delivery to it. If your entry is judged a provisional winner of the competition, 2degrees will contact you and may seek your permission to use the entry and the associated image in its marketing material. If you cannot give that permission or fail to provide a valid telephone contact details with your entry 2degrees may select another winner. The winners will be chosen on 16 March 2010 and will be the entries considered by the judges to be the most creative entries received. The Judging panel will be made up of Ole Maiava, Director of Pasifika and Eric Hertz, CEO of Two Degrees Mobile who will select a winner and two runners up. Judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into. Each of the three winners will receive a years free airtime comprising of 12 x $30 monthly top up vouchers.
Today is a very disappointing day for New Zealand mobile users. After much delay, the Commerce Commission appears to have squandered a golden opportunity to finally bring New Zealand mobile prices into line with the rest of the developed world.New Zealand consumers suffer with some of the highest mobile prices in the world. The Commission’s recommendation to leave the decision on access pricing up to the incumbents, Vodafone and Telecom, will mean this burden on New Zealanders continues for the foreseeable future.
We agree with Commissioner Mazzoleni’s dissenting opinion that without regulation the uneven playing field will continue in favour of the large mobile networks, and that the full benefits of rigorous competition bringing lower prices will be stifled.
We think New Zealanders deserve better. We will now take some time to fully understand the recommendations and will put our detailed views to the Minister in due course.
2degrees Mobile today announced that 206,000 people are now actively using its new services and are enjoying the best use of its great value mobile calling and texting rates.
2degrees CEO Eric Hertz said, “206,000 New Zealanders have chosen to join the 2degrees family to stay closer to friends and whanau. This is well ahead of our expectations and we’re delighted that we have struck such a chord with so many New Zealanders.
“Over the last six months we’ve exceeded initial expectations. We’ve successfully brought down prepaid prices for mobile services so that for the first time people in New Zealand are able to access a prepaid plan at prices below the OECD average.
“We’ve also made it even more attractive to bring your current mobile number over to 2degrees and we are seeing record numbers - 53,000 in fact - who have chosen to bring their existing mobile numbers with them,” he said.
“It’s going to be an exciting time ahead for mobile consumers,” said Eric. “We’ve only just begun.”
In its first six months of operation, 2degrees has achieved a number of significant milestones including:
Half price calling and texting – 2degrees has halved the standard published prepaid rate for calling from 89 cents to 44 cents a minute. It has further dropped the standard prepaid text rate from 20 cents to 9 cents.
Rewards for topping up – With Magic Top Up, 2degrees customers get an even better rate of just 22 cents a minute to call all 2degrees mobiles, as well as landlines in 22 countries including the UK, USA and Australia. Customers also “magically” get free texts to send to anyone in NZ. The greater the value of the top up, the more free texts customers can use.
An easy way to keep your mobile number – Customers don’t need to lose their number when they move to 2degrees. Over 53,000 people have taken advantage of number portability and have ported their 021 or 027 number to the 2degrees network.
Great customer service, for free! – 2degrees New Zealand-based call centre is available to support customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it’s free for 2degrees customers to call.
To join 2degrees grab a SIM.
Check out our pricing and see what all the fuss is about.
Calling home from your mobile is now much easier thanks to 2degrees Mobile.
The mobile company has released new mobile-to-mobile calling rates of just 22 cents a minute to China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and India.
“Our offer is straight-forward and simple,” said 2degrees’ Sales and Marketing Manager, Larrie Moore.
“There are no additional connection fees, service fees, minimum call charges or durations, or any surcharges that entrap people when they use an international calling card.”
2degrees’ customers can also call from their 2degrees’ mobile to landline phones in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and India for the low 22 cents rate.
“The 2degrees 22 cent rate to these countries is available to all our customers whenever they top-up their prepaid account and is valid for 30 days from the date of the top-up,” he said.
For further information on 2degrees Magic Top Up rates visit:
The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled in favour of new mobile entrant 2degrees, concerning complaints the company laid against Telecom New Zealand over misleading advertising.
In the advertising Telecom suggested that due to 2degrees’ call rounding policy, prepaid calls on 2degrees’ network may cost more than calls made on Telecom’s One Rate Prepaid plan, and more than customers realised which was unfair.
2degrees Chief Executive Officer, Eric Hertz says that contrary to Telecom’s claims, 2degrees customers always pay less and often only a fraction of that paid by Telecom One Rate Prepaid plan customers.
“We are pleased with the outcome, although it was never in doubt that we would win. Even Telecom’s representatives at the ASA hearing acknowledged that our pre-pay pricing was cheaper than theirs,” said Eric.
“The one disappointing aspect to this process has been the heel-dragging employed by Telecom regarding the removal of the offending advertising material from their stores. I’m firmly of the opinion that they deliberately delayed complying with the ASA’s order to ensure the material remained available during the holiday buying season.”
In the ASA’s view, the statement in the advertisement that: “Both Vodafone Supa Prepay* and 2 Degrees** round up to the next minute which means you may be paying a lot more for calls that you think,” contained an element of ambiguity, and that, compounded with the omission of any reference to 2degrees in the comparative text box resulted in the claim with regard to pricing being likely to mislead or deceive the consumer with regard to the pricing of 2degrees prepaid pricing structure.
The ASA noted that Telecom believed it was common knowledge among consumers that 2degrees offered a cheaper prepaid call service overall than its market competitors, Telecom and Vodafone.
Accordingly, the ASA said the advertisement was in breach of Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics and Guideline (b) of the Code for Comparative Advertising.
The ASA also considered the phrase “now that doesn’t seem fair” in the text in the advertisement: “Both Vodafone Supa Prepay* and 2 Degrees** round up to the next minute which means you may be paying a lot more for calls than you think, now that doesn’t seem fair.” (emphasis added)
In the ASA’s view this statement introduced a negative tone about a competing service and discredited and disparaged it. This was exacerbated by the fact that it was acknowledged that 2degrees overall pricing structure was cheaper than Vodafone and Telecom. Accordingly, the ASA ruled that the advertisement was in breach of Guideline (a) of the Comparative Code in respect of this issue. It also said the advertisement denigrated an identifiable competitor, and ruled that the advertisement was also in breach of Rule 8 of the Code of Ethics in respect of this issue.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
If Telecom had provided a complete comparison in their advertising it would show that a 64 second call on 2degrees costs the customer $0.88 compared to Telecom’s charge of $0.95 and Vodafone’s charge of $1.78.
Running out of credit, or worrying about running out of credit on your pre-pay mobile account is now a thing of the past with the launch of 2degrees Auto Top Up.
Auto Top Up is a handy new service from to 2degrees that allows you to top up your pre-pay balance at the touch of a button.
“We know that nearly 70% of New Zealanders are on pre-pay,” said 2degrees’Sales and Marketing Manager, Larrie Moore.
“They are on pre-pay because they like to be in control of their mobile expenditure and don’t want to be locked into lengthy contracts. But our customers have told us that what they don’t like about pre-pay is the worry of running out of credit at an inopportune moment, or having to pop out to the shop every time they want to top up,” he says.
Research undertaken by 2degrees shows that of the reasons preventing people from switching from a post-pay plan to pre-pay, around half relate to the hassle of topping up and the fear of running out of credit.
“The launch of Auto Top Up eliminates all the hassle and gives New Zealanders a unique pre-pay/post-pay hybrid,” said Larrie.
With 2degrees Auto Top Up, when a customer’s balance drops below $2.50 they’ll get a text asking whether they want to be topped up automatically. They just need to text back “Y” or“y” and 2degrees will do the topping up for them.
To set up 2degrees Auto Top Up customers just need to register their credit or debit card against their account and choose an amount between $20 and $100 that they want to top up each time they run low on credit.
The commerce commission released it’s report on the NZ telecommunications market covering the first 6 months of 2009. The report was issued on Nov 12th. They write:
“The entry of 2degrees into the mobile market in August means, for the first time in the Commission’s analysis, New Zealand consumers are able to access a prepaid plan at prices lower than the OECD average. In previous analyses the best ranking for a New Zealand prepaid plan was 26 out of 30, with pricing at more than one and a half times the OECD average.”
To read the full report visit the Commerce Commission’s website.
AUCKLAND – 16 November 2009
With ‘Magic Top-Up’ 2degrees customers have been able to enjoy a great rate of 22c/min to 2degrees mobiles and New Zealand landlines. Now 2degrees is extending the 22c/min rate to include calls to landlines in another 21 countries. Additional free texts will also be included which can be used to text to any New Zealand mobile anytime.
According to Sales and Marketing Manager, Larrie Moore, 2degrees is committed to giving customers better value and great service with their mobile accounts.
“When 2degrees entered the market we halved the standard pre-pay calling rates from 89c/min to 44c/min. We also gave our customers even greater value when they topped-up by giving them Magic Top-Up which brings the base calling rate to 2degrees mobiles and New Zealand landlines down to 22c/min for 30 days,” he said.
“We are now extending Magic Top-Up so our customers can call landlines in another 21 countries for just 22c/min, and we’ve thrown in more free texts too. So now it’s even more affordable for our customers to stay connected with friends and family here and overseas.”
2degrees customers will receive the new Magic Top-Up rewards on top-ups made after 8am Monday 16 November 2009.
As you may have seen, yesterday we announced that work has started on integrating a 2100 MHz, 3G spectrum across our new mobile network. But, what does this mean for Kiwis using 2degrees?
Well, for those who don’t follow the jargon of the telecom community, 3G networks (as in ‘3rd generation’ and as opposed to 2G and 2.5G) means more data can go through your phone and it can do it faster, provided you have a 3G handset.
You may be asking what ‘more data’ means. It means that 2degrees, as a network operator, is able to offer customers a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved efficiency.
With the capability for high-speed wireless data transfer, a 3G network will enhance the use of additional applications such as mobile video, location-based services and audio on demand. To compare to 2.5G, a three-minute song takes between six and nine minutes to download. Using 3G, it can download in 11 to 90 seconds.
It is a complicated business implementing a 3G network across the country, but it is something 2degrees is focused on doing because we want to offer the best products and services we can to our customers.
We’re looking forward to rolling out new 3G products and services to you throughout 2010.
New Zealand's third mobile operator 2degrees Mobile has started to integrate 2100 MHz, 3G spectrum across its new network.
According to 2degrees Mobile Chief Executive, Eric Hertz, this is a significant milestone for the company just 12 short weeks after it launched a brand new mobile service aimed at delivering simplicity and better value for New Zealand mobile users.
“Adding third generation technology to our network means that not only are we able to further increase the capacity on our network, but more importantly we are able to bring our customers new products and services.
“We look forward to bringing these new services to market throughout 2010,” said Eric.
2degrees Mobile was provided access to third-generation spectrum through its foundation shareholder, Hautaki Limited. Hautaki holds a 20 percent share in 2degrees Mobile.
The company's spokesperson Bryony Hilless confirmed 3G service will be available wherever 2degrees coverage is available. The current roaming agreement with Vodafone will be extended to allow customers access to 3G services when outside coverage.
2degrees today announced it would be offering free calls up to a 5 minute cap from its New Zealand network to the countries that have been hardest hit by the recent tsunami in the Pacific.
2degrees customers can make calls for free starting today, October 1st from midday until October 15, to Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.
Eric Hertz, 2degrees chief executive officer says, “We recognise that there will be many people trying to contact their friends and loved ones as a result of the tsunami. We want to do what we can to help and we feel that this is the best way to do it.
“Communication is a lifeline, a link to family and friends. It’s a horrible being away from your family and loved ones during a crisis and 2degrees wants to offer people the opportunity to find some piece of mind.
“We have put a 5 minute cap on the duration of the calls to ensure that everyone can have access to the service. All we ask is that people limit their time on calls so thateveryone who wants to make a call can get through”, said Mr Hertz.
Those people without a 2degrees phone or SIM card can purchase them at the following outlets: Dick Smith Electronics, Warehouse Stationery, Pak & Save, New World, Foodtown, Countdown, Woolworths, Shell, Mobil, BP and other independently owned petrol stations served by Red Circle, along with Gilmours, Toops and Trents.
2degrees are proud to be among 8 New Zealand partner organisations in support of the Drop the Rate Mate campaign.
Our aim is simple, to represent the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who are paying too much for their mobile texting and calling.
You can show your support simply by signing the online petition at www.droptherate.org.nz
The 2degrees team.
Today we have launched the best prepaid mobile rates currently available in New Zealand. We look forward to bringing you great value, simply and with no catch. Try us out, we hope you won’t be disappointed.
It’s the announcement the New Zealand public, the media, 8,000 Facebook Fans and 50,000 Chinwaggers have been patiently awaiting.
Tomorrow the full range of services, prices, and handsets will be detailed right here on the 2degrees blog.
This will be just the beginning of 2degrees’ efforts to bring true value to New Zealand mobile phone users.
Check back here, tomorrow for all the details.
The team at 2degrees mobile.
AUCKLAND, May 28 2009
Mike Reynolds, the CEO of New Zealand’s third mobile phone network, 2degrees, is underwhelmed by the pricing plans unveiled by Telecom today for their new XT network.
“If I was a consumer I’d be asking: is that it….?” he said.
“The rates don’t look too dissimilar to what is currently being offered by Vodafone New Zealand, but they look very expensive to comparable plans offered overseas.
“In the United States, for US $49.99 per month you get totally unlimited calling on Virgin’s nationwide 3G network to any network. In New Zealand by comparison, in the absence of any unlimited calling plans, the top Telecom One Rate plan includes 2500 minutes at NZ$800 per month!
“The question is, how does that equate to value for the consumer?
“Now is not the time to sign up to two or three year contracts. Soon we will be unveiling the 2degrees price plans as we countdown to our launch in August. I urge New Zealanders to hold off till then, when they can make a fully informed decision,” said Mike Reynolds.
For further information on 2degrees go to www.2degreesmobile.co.nz
AUCKLAND, 25 May 2009
2degrees, which will be launching New Zealand’s third nationwide mobile phone network in August, is urging New Zealanders not to lock themselves into long term contracts with the current mobile service providers and to wait until the real competition starts in a few months.
According to 2degrees CEO Mike Reynolds, “The vast majority of New Zealanders simply want to talk and text who, where and when they want, without paying through the nose for it. 91%* of New Zealanders don’t even use their phone to access the net. For them, the barrage of marketing hype, complex pricing structures and expensive handsets, is bamboozling and irrelevant to their actual day to day needs.”
Why New Zealand needs 2degrees to start some real competition
Almost everyone in New Zealand has a mobile phone and many have two. However, you use your phone far less than almost anywhere else in the world, and that’s because it’s just too expensive to call.
You have told us you are sick and tired of being locked into lengthy contracts and being stung with high prices to call friends on competing networks. You want to take back control over who, when and where you call, and to do so without paying through the nose.
New Zealand is really in a very curious situation. Most markets have at least three mobile operators and quite a number have more. There is no other country that has to suffer such poor value in the mobile market and that can be attributed to the lack of a vibrant competitive environment.
Although Telecom and Vodafone appear to compete, this is illusory, in truth they really just shadow each other to keep prices high. Have a quick look at Telecom’s new XT rates – they are very similar to what is currently being offered by Vodafone but they are expensive to comparable plans offered overseas.
The reason so many of you have two phones is that there isn’t one company prepared to meet your needs, so you have to call the way they want you to. Where’s the competition? Where’s the value?
Thank you for visiting the 2degrees site. Pre-register your interest now and we’ll keep you updated on progress towards providing you with all the value and flexibility you can use.