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New Channel Unleashes Vodafone Mobility Solutions

Press Release - 13 October 2005

New Channel Unleashes Vodafone Mobility Solutions

Hundreds of IT solution providers are expected to join a new national distribution channel launched by Vodafone to give New Zealand businesses even greater accessibility to mobility solutions.

More than 100 IT solution providers have already joined Vodafone’s Data Channel Programme, with a further 200 expected to be signed up over the next four weeks.

The programme enables New Zealand value added resellers to provide voice, laptop connectivity and hand-held devices direct to their business customers.

Vodafone Sales and Marketing Manager Hamish Switalla said today the programme was part of the company’s global strategy to make wireless technology and mobility more accessible to businesses, particularly SMEs.

“Mobility is such an amazing marketforce now that we’re looking to provide it to businesses through an even wider range of channels.

“Customers tell us that they’re juggling a number of roles, and want products and services that will help them do business on the move. IT solution providers partnering with us will have the ability to unleash leading mobility solutions on New Zealand businesses - helping them become more agile, closer to their customers and able to do business in real-time.”

Switalla said that IT Resellers were a natural extension of Vodafone’s existing distribution channels.

“IT resellers, who helped us design this programme across the globe, have said that their customers want an end-to-end solution from a single provider. We’ve been blown away by their desire to get on board - the uptake has been phenomenal.”

One of the key benefits of the programme will be the ability of businesses to access one-on-one support and advice on mobility from IT specialists who already provide their IT solutions.

The new channel will allow customers to access a wider range of mobile business solutions, and provide greater choice for their telecommunications and IT needs. IT solution providers will be able to extend the range of products and services they offer, strengthen their customer relationships and significantly enhance their profitability.

Switalla said it was the ideal time to launch the national programme given Vodafone’s recent release of 3G-enabled products and services, which include the high speed Vodafone Mobile Connect datacard, the launch of Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5 operating system, which enables push email and the impending launch of laptops with embedded SIM Technology.

”It makes sense that IT companies are able to deliver the mobile element end-to-end for New Zealand businesses, where the work involves integration with their customers’ IT infrastructure.”

Vodafone New Zealand is the first English-speaking Vodafone operating company to launch the Vodafone Data Channel Programme. The model is being rolled out across a number of other operating companies, including those in Australia and the UK

Resellers will operate through Vodafone’s distribution partner Ingram Micro, with whom Vodafone has a global partnering agreement.

Vodafone will be offering New Zealand resellers three different levels of accreditation - Premier, Certified and Registered - based on their level of experience and capabilities.

More than 100 IT solution providers have already joined the programme, with 75% choosing to exclusively sell and promote Vodafone mobility products and services.

Premier partners, which are all Vodafone exclusive, include Axon, ATL Systems, Maclean Computing, Elite Business Systems, Designer Technology, Gulf Networks, Softsource, PC People, Computer Concepts, Willis White and Co and Computer Brokers.

ENDS

About Vodafone New Zealand
Vodafone New Zealand is part of Vodafone Group PLC, the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, providing a wide range of services including voice and data communications. As at 30 June 2005, Vodafone New Zealand had 1,929 million customers and a 54.7% share of the New Zealand mobile market.

About Ingram Micro in New Zealand
Ingram Micro New Zealand is part of the world's largest wholesale provider of technology products and services, and carries a broad range of technology products including: system, networking, component, peripheral, software, storage products and now Vodafone hardware and services. The company has growing dedicated employees, with Head Office and Warehousing in Auckland, sales office in Wellington, and sales office and warehousing in Christchurch.

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