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Competition for Tertiary Students - $10,000 Prizes

29 March 2006

Media Statement

Econet Wireless Announces Competition for Tertiary Students - $10,000 in Prizes

Econet has announced a competition for New Zealand-based tertiary students to encourage research into New Zealand’s position amongst OECD countries in terms of cellphone market structure and pricing.

The competition follows the successful launch of a similar competition by Econet for secondary school students. Any student that attends a tertiary institution in New Zealand can enter, although it may be best suited to those studying business or law.

Students are being asked to compare New Zealand’s cellphone market and prices with OECD countries, by looking at a number of factors including:

- Pricing - specifically analysing the costs of calling between networks, i.e. Vodafone to Telecom in New Zealand, and Orange to Virgin in Europe
- Number of mobile phone networks within the 30 OECD countries, stating technology platforms and number of networks per country
- Competition law in network infrastructure industries in New Zealand relative to OECD environments
- Scope and structure of the New Zealand Commerce Commission relative to other OECD competition authorities
- Lobbying and messaging capability of Telecom New Zealand on New Zealand competition issues
- Lobbying and the unique message of the New Zealand Business Round Table
- Comparing the technology used in networks (SIM card GSM vs. CDMA) and working out the effect of the different technology in swapping service provider, handsets and costs

After scoping the price differentials for airtime, students are requested to analyse the policy differentials which have left New Zealand with only one GSM network, compared with countries such as Ireland that have four GSM-capable network infrastructures. Econet specifically suggests students should look at the competition road rules as set by the New Zealand competition laws. Entries can be in any format including spreadsheets, essays, and power point presentations.

Tex Edwards, Project Director, Econet Wireless New Zealand, says he is expecting an excellent response to the competition because so many people have been demanding more pricing competition in the NZ mobile market, and thanks to the overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the secondary school competition.

“Cell-phone pricing hits young New Zealanders as hard as it hits small businesses and other telecommunications consumers in this country. Texting in particular has become part of youth culture and teenagers are very savvy when it comes to pricing and offers.

“But many Kiwis simply can’t afford to talk on a cell-phone because it’s so expensive, as illustrated by the very low minutes of voice use on cell-phones. We expect a lot of students will be interested in finding out what is going on overseas, and expect very high quality submissions to our competition.”

The competition closes on May 31. First prize is $7000 cash and a trip to Europe, including five nights accommodation. The winner will also receive a guided tour of a European telecommunications competition regulator, and a visit to the OFCOM office in London.

ENDS

Important notes

All entries remain the property of Econet Wireless New Zealand (“Econet Wireless”). Personal information is required in order to contact winning entries. Econet Wireless will use your personal information only for the purposes of this competition and will not pass it on to any other party. It may, however, use this information to contact you about other competitions, products or services in the future. If you do not wish to be contacted, please indicate clearly in the section with your personal details.

The winning entry will be announced on 1st June 2006. Winning entries will be contacted by post and the names of winners will be published in the NZ Herald and The Dominion. Prizes will be awarded to the winning entrants on 15th June. The prizes are not transferable and Econet Wireless accepts no responsibility for non delivery of prizes. Econet Wireless reserves the right to offer a substitute prize in the event that the stated prize is no longer available. If a winning entry is uncontactable or doesn’t claim their prize before 30th June Econet Wireless reserves the right to either offer that prize to another entry or withdraw the prize from the competition.

Econet Wireless will judge the entries according to its own criteria. The judge’s decision is final and no further discussion will be entered into. By participating in this competition you acknowledge that Econet Wireless shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever suffered (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss) or for any personal injury which is suffered or sustained, as a result of participation in this competition, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law. In particular you acknowledge that Econet Wireless is not responsible for the content of any websites or resources referred to by it and that you freely choose to visit and/or use these, and any other, websites and resources. Econet Wireless shall not be liable for any loss suffered by, or claims made against, you as a result of visiting, using or collecting information from, or in connection with, any website or resource whatsoever.

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