11 May 2009

Third mobile company reveals brand, launch date

7:31 pm on 11 May 2009

New Zealand's third mobile network will launch in August under the brand 2degrees.

New Zealand Communications has so far spent $250 million building its network in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Outside these areas customers will roam on the Vodafone network.

The company changed its name to reflect the two degrees of separation that it believes exists in the country, and its service will have the prefix 022.

2degrees' chief executive Mike Reynolds says the company will have a tough job pulling customers from rival networks Telecom and Vodafone which he says are fighting tooth and nail to preserve their position.

Mr Reynolds says New Zealanders are not getting value for money for their mobile services.

He would not release pricing details on Monday, saying more information will be available closer to the August launch.

A telecommunications industry commentator believes 2degrees will find the competition tough.

IDC Telecommunications Research manager Rosalie Nelson says the company will need to have a very compelling proposition to win customers from Telecom and Vodafone.