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Vodafone New Zealand Continues Strong Growth

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-VODAFONE


Vodafone New Zealand has had an extremely strong year with its customer base growing to 473,000 in the year to March 31. This reflects a net increase of more than 290,000 customers in the past year which is more than 160 per cent growth.

Vodafone New Zealand Ltd Managing Director John Rohan said the significant growth was a result of the general increase in mobile penetration rates in New Zealand, the expansion and effectiveness of Vodafone's distribution network and the company's marketing efforts.

"The growth in our subscriber base has been driven by a strategy of leading the way in providing new technology and added value services to all of our customers," said Mr Rohan.

Vodafone's growth since its arrival in 1998 has contributed to a very significant uptake in mobile technology in New Zealand. The number of people owning mobile phones has gone from 17 per cent of the population to more than one in three New Zealanders.

Vodafone's most recent innovation for consumers has been the launch of a range of personalised services under the banner of `My Vodafone', allowing every customer to choose services such as email, news, weather and sports updates to be delivered to their mobile.

Vodafone has also recently announced a trial of WAP (wireless application protocol) allowing information from the Internet to be accessed from mobile phones and other wireless devices. Soon, it will also trial GPRS (general packet radio services) which can provide increased bandwidth of 115 kilobits per second that will enable the faster delivery of more feature-rich content to handsets, such as video-conferencing.



"New Zealanders have a strong desire to use mobile phones as an all-in-one communications tool, not simply as a device for making voice calls. Vodafone's services are enabling them to do this," said Mr Rohan.

Vodafone has nearly two million customers as at 31 March 2000 through its interests in the Pacific region. The combined customer base of Vodafone's interests in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji was 1,924,457 as at 31 March 2000.

In Australia, Vodafone now has 1.44 million customers. For the year ended 31 March 2000, Vodafone Australia increased its customer base by 48 per cent, up from 971,000 customers in March 1999.

Vodafone Fiji (49 per cent owned by Vodafone AirTouch Plc) increased its customers by 191 per cent to total 23,382 customers for the year ended 31 March 2000. Approximately 2,701 customers connected to Vodafone Fiji in the March 2000 quarter.

About Vodafone

Vodafone New Zealand Ltd is part of Vodafone AirTouch Plc, the world's largest mobile telecommunications company with more than 53 million customers. The company has interests in 25 countries over five continents.

Vodafone New Zealand now has 473,000 customers on its fully digital network and provides coverage to more than 96 per cent of the population.

ENDS


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