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Telecom prepared for Telstra network closure

22 April 2008

Media Release

Telecom prepared for Telstra network closure

Telecom is confident that an extensive communications campaign will mean its mobile customers are aware of changes to mobile roaming in Australia after Telstra closes its CDMA network next week, and that Telecom's roaming customers have been offered great solutions to help keep them successfully roaming across the Tasman.

The programme of communications over the last six months has included details of how customers may be affected and the range of options customers will have to use their phone when travelling in Australia after the closure.

Telecom GM of Mobile, Martin Butler, said the communications campaign combined with the launch of Telecom's WorldMode Global Roaming service means that customers should be aware of the network closure, and the range of options they have to continue using mobile phones while in Australia.

"Roaming customers make up less than 5% of our customer base, but our priority is to ensure that these customers are not caught out. We've undertaken significant work to ensure our customers who do roam to Australia will be covered after Telstra close their CDMA network."

Following Telstra's CDMA closure, Telecom customers will require a Telecom WorldMode mobile phone when travelling in Australia. Part of the communications campaign has been targeting roaming customers with special upgrade offers for WorldMode phones.

"We have identified the business and residential customers who regularly use their mobile in Australia and provided them with a range of special offers, including subsidised and free WorldMode phones," said Mr Butler.

In addition, account teams from Telecom's corporate division Gen-i have been working with corporate clients to ensure their roaming needs are covered. Options being provided to Gen-i customers also include free upgrades to a range of roaming capable voice and data products.

If customers choose not to buy their own WorldMode phone they can make use of a free loan phone provided by Telecom.

This week Telecom will be carrying out another round of communications to customers, including Public Notices and SMS messages reminding them that Telstra Australia is scheduled to close its Australian CDMA mobile network on 28 April.

The change by Telstra only affects roaming to Australia roaming in other countries with CDMA networks will not be affected.

Options for customers in Australia

Telecom mobile customers who currently have, or purchase, a phone from the WorldMode range will continue to be able to roam in Australia on alternative mobile networks.

Telecom will provide customers who do not have a WorldMode phone the option of a free loan phone while they are travelling in Australia after 28 April. Customers who loan a phone can use their own mobile number, contacts and voicemail and will be billed standard roaming charges. Pre-paid mobile customers are able to use a loan phone by attaching their pre-paid mobile number to a Telecom home account.

Customers wanting to discuss their options can contact their Gen-i client manager, Telecom account manager or visit a Telecom retail store.

If customers are unaware of the closure until they reach the airport they can visit the Telecom kiosk at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch international airports for information about Telstra's network closure and how it could affect them. If required, customers will also be able to buy a WorldMode phone, or pick up a free loan phone for their trip.

As a last resort, any customers who arrive in Australia unaware of the closure are able to visit an Optus retail store to purchase an Optus phone which they can then use with their Telecom mobile number.

Telecom WorldMode roaming gives users the ability to access both types of mobile network (CDMA and GSM) using their Telecom phone number and voicemail, in around 140 countries. There are currently three WorldMode phones available, the Samsung W531, OKTA Mondo and Blackberry 8830.


For more information about Telstra's plans to shut down their Australian CDMA network, or if you would like to learn more about WorldMode roaming visit www.telecom.co.nz/globalroaming


- ends


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