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Santa Ditches Telecom, Shacks Up with Ihug

Media release
December 15th, 2005

Santa Ditches Telecom, Shacks Up with Ihug

Telecom's 12 year direct line to Santa has been severed this year with ihug, New Zealand's second largest provider of ADSL broadband, shacking up with the jolly bearded man.

Instead of children having to call or email Santa with their wish list this Christmas, ihug has joined together with Christchurch companies TeleMessenger and Springdoo, to convince Santa to do the calling. All parents need to do is enter their phone number and children's names at and Santa does the rest. He even sends an email after the phone call with a voice recording of the child's wish list.

Ihug's chief executive Mark Rushworth says it's a fun way to spread a little Christmas cheer and shows people some of the exciting things that are possible with faster internet.

"My kids have already had their call from Santa and they got a real kick out of hearing their voices when he sent them an email with a recording of what they wanted for Christmas."

TeleMessenger launched SantaCall last year to demonstrate new interactive voice and data technology using the phone and Internet. Michael Mayell, TeleMessenger's director, says they were stoked when ihug offered to sponsor the site.

"SantaCall is a great way for kids to experience the magic of Christmas. We had thousands of calls last year and we really wanted to be able to provide the service for free again this year. Teaming up with ihug has helped keep SantaCall free and put smiles on the faces of children and their parents this Christmas."


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