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Telecom Mobile Customer Numbers Soar

Media Release

More New Zealanders are becoming mobile than ever before with a record
number of 68,000 net new Telecom connections in the three months to 30

"We're enjoying unprecedented growth," according to Group General Manager
Services Theresa Gattung. "This is the third straight quarter where
growth has been very strong. We estimate that overall about 23.5 percent
of Kiwis are now mobile - and that's fast approaching a quarter of the

The latest growth means Telecom now has 677,000 mobile customers. It hit
the 600,000 level in March. Telecom had amassed half a million mobile
customers by last September and 400,000 customers by December 1996.

Ms Gattung said the growing popularity by consumers of all walks of life
being mobile was the reason for the strong growth. Prepaid phones and
innovative new pricing plans were supporting this.

"In markets like the UK something like 80 percent of new connections now
are for prepaid mobile phones, and that's a trend we expect here too for
the foreseeable future."

Ms Gattung said that Telecom's research indicated that customers were most
interested in network coverage and the overall deal when making a decision
about who to choose when becoming mobile.

She said that Telecom was well positioned on both of these dimensions and
was continuing to invest millions in network capacity and expansion as
well as working on new innovations in the pricing and services area to
meet customers' changing expectations.

"Being mobile is becoming more affordable, practical and indeed essential
for more and more people."

Ms Gattung said while the bulk of the growth had been achieved through
prepaid phone sales, Telecom had also revised its post-paid mobile phone
pricing and this was encouraging some pre-paid customers onto lower-end

"One of the biggest factors pushing growth is the expansion of ways people
can purchase Telecom mobile services. In addition to our network of
dealers, prepaid phones offered by ourselves and resellers are now
available at a number of nationwide retail chains, including The
Warehouse. Customers can also buy a mobile over the phone or through the

"It's never been easier or cheaper to get mobile."

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