Monday, August 03, 2009

2 degrees isn't competing on a level playing field

Now there has been much publicity about the new mobile phone network "2 degrees" with many TV ads.

What 2 degrees isn't telling you is a little about its history.

How did 2 degrees get its radio spectrum? Telecom and Vodafone both bought their spectrum in open competitive auctions. 2 degrees didn't get it that way.

You see, it was part of a deal that the last Labour government did to shut down Maori claims for the radio spectrum (which of course was often used before 1840!). The Waitangi Tribunal at the time believed that radio spectrum is a taonga and so shouldn't be sold, Labour allocated one of the 3G mobile phone spectrum networks to the "Maori Spectrum Trust" at a discount price, with some taxpayers' money to "develop it". Neither Telecom nor Vodafone ever used taxpayers' money to develop its cellphone networks. That Trust teamed up with a Zimbabwean company (Econet), which has since sold its shareholdings on. 2 degrees has had various private sector backers along with the Trust.

So, in effect, 2 degrees has radio spectrum at a discount rate, and has been subsidised to develop it.

It also isn't developing its own network to cover the country, no, it is using Vodafone's, at commercially negotiated rates, but always with the threat of the state regulating them, and with the threat that if Vodafone or Telecom told it to "go build your own" network, the government may regulate for access - like it already has to Telecom's network.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

who gives a shit?

not me, i will go with whoever is the cheapest