26 Jul 2011

Telecom would keep mobile network in split

12:55 pm on 26 July 2011

Telecom will keep its mobile phone network if shareholders agree to split its business unit Chorus into a separately listed company.

Telecom and the Ministry of Economic Development on Tuesday released long-awaited details about which assets each company would own if a demerger is approved.

The network business, which will be called New Chorus, will hold the fibre and copper networks and most of Telecom's manholes, ducts and phone exchanges.

The retail arm, to be called New Telecom, includes the mobile phone assets, the Australian operation, AAPT, and its half stake in the Southern Cross cable network.

New Telecom will be run by the company's chief executive Paul Reynolds and the network business by Mark Ratcliffe.

While there will be no joint ownership of assets, Telecom says some assets will be used by both, such as IT systems, to avoid the higher costs of duplication.

In these cases, Telecom says commercial arm's length agreements will be put in place which will be subject to the scrutiny of the Commerce Commission.

Telecom says it will release information about how much each company would be worth after its annual result on 19 August.

The company aims to have Chorus operating as a standalone business by the end of this year, so it can participate in the Government's ultra-fast broadband initiative.