Posts tagged: Telecom

XT Mobile war-room footage

The XT Network still has issues and heads have started to roll.

The spoofs continue to roll out. First there was the XT Network for sale on Trademe – disguised as a lemon. Now, never before seen footage of Dr Reynolds and his close knit team in the days immediately following the last big outage.

Here’s the video…

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And here’s a screen shot of the Trade Me auction.

Click on the image to enlarge

Click on the image to enlarge

The Ferrit is dead

Ferrit is dead

Announced today: Telecom is closing Ferrit.

It’s no surprise to me. It’s finally been acknowledged that the site is no longer core to the company’s business strategy.

Wow. It took three years and several hundred million dollars (at least) to work that out.

The idea was lame right from the beginning. It added no benefit to the user.

  • The promised price comparisons weren’t delivered
  • It failed to create any competition between retailers offering the same goods
  • My understanding is that it was expensive for retailers to become part of

Also, e-commerce sites became cheap enough that any retailer could set-up a presence. Obviously this was not factored into any projections for the future of the site.

Add to this the fact that Telecom was in the business of selling mobiles and phone plans. What gave them the notion that this was ever going to fly.

I’m surprised it lasted so long, and sad that so much revenue was expended on a site that went, and was going, no-where.

Telecom pulls out of FlyBuys

Telecom and Fly BuysTelecom has decided to extricate itself from the Fly Buys scheme at the end of the year saying that it wants to focus on providing better core services to it’s customers.

Perhaps it’s also an indication that they are hurting financially. Their share price has taken a big tumble (along with many other stocks) and they are being outdone in many ways by Vodafone. Now they have removed another reason for becoming, or being a Telecom customer – rewards via Fly Buys.

I have no idea how much it costs a business to be part of the Fly Buys scheme – presumably it’s charged as a percentage of your total sales (at least for the bits that can attract rewards) – so the cost could be considerable.

Perhaps Telecom has data that shows people aren’t making purchasing decisions for Telecom products based on the ability to gain rewards. Once you are locked into a Telecom account you don’t have ann opportunity to change your mind until your plan expires so the rewards keep coming in automatically. Whereas I can choose to spend my money at a Shell service station everytime I fill up to take advantage of Fly Buys – it’s a more active decision that can be more easily measured.

If the withdrawal from Fly Buys adds real benefit to existing and new Telecom customers then that’s a good thing. My sense is that customers won’t notice much of a change to the level of service they receive except they’ll no longer be rewarded for being that customer.

iPhone plans revealed

Vodafone launched the pricing plans for the iPhone this morning at 10.00am. iPhone

Pay $199 for the phone and $250/month on a two year contract and that’s $6,199 paid at the end of that term.

Seems excessive? It is.

Vodafone had a perfect opportunity to capture a big segment of Telecom’s market. I’ve been a Telecom customer for years – since the days of the Motorola ‘brick’. The iPhone is the first time I have considered moving to Vodafone. But not at that price…not even at the lowest $80 per month plan. On that plan the phone would cost me $699.

Mark Rushworth, Chief Marketing Officer for Vodafone said on Campbell Live that it was more than a phone…it was a phone, and an iPod, and he said it will give me access to the internet wherever I am.

It doesn’t take much investigation to discover that the 3G coverage is abysmal. Vodafone claim coverage of 97% of where the population live which sounds like a lot until you take a look at the maps on the Vodafone site. Click on Palmerston North and the red indicates coverage. The New Zealand map is worse.

I know it’s Apple. I know it’s sexy, and stylish, and modern, and so ‘now’, but I’m going to remain content with my Palm Treo 700wx. I can access the web sites I need to access (Gmail etc) and I can use it as a phone. I can’t use it as an iPod, but I’m happy with my separate 30GB Video iPod. I’ve got a gazillion songs on it (all legal) and the batteries last me 8 days before recharging is required. My current Telecom plan costs me around $40/month. I never exceed my data limits.

I sound so old-fashioned but I’ve decided, with Vodafone’s help, that I don’t need an iPhone – certainly not at the cost revealed today.

What else could I do with $6,199? Ideas anyone?

P.S Great thread over on Rod Drury’s blog from some knowledgeable folk. General consensus is that Vodafone haven’t done so well…

iPhone goes to Vodafone

iPhoneThis is big news. I just finished watching the 6pm news via my DVD recorder (I hate the ads). Mike McRoberts, with little fanfare, announces that Vodafone have secured the rights to sell the iPhone later this year.

There are iPhones in New Zealand now, running on both carriers (I think) but only via cracked software. So the race to sell legitimate copies was a big race worth winning.

Last week the rumour was that Telecom had beaten Vodafone. This would have been great news for Telecom. They seem to have difficulty competing with the ‘cool’ handsets that Vodafone sells. The fact that Telecom needs to market ‘global’ handsets (as opposed to non-global?) makes them look a little old fashioned – given that Vodafone handsets will work just about anywhere in the world, without the differentiation. So, for Telecom, having the iPhone on their books would have given them some cache with the hip crowd.

As Rod Drury says: “While a positive step for Vodafone the marginal benefit to them is much less than the marginal loss to Telecom.”

And while we are on the subject…TV3 broadcast the story. At 11.10 pm a Google search for “iPhone in New Zealand” brought up only old and insignificant results. There was nothing on the Vodafone website. Thanks to Rod for writing about it 40 minutes before me. If only I had watched the news at 6pm instead of 10.30pm I could have been the first blogger to announce it!

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