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‘Unplugged’ - Same Number, New World In 2007

MEDIA RELEASE
19 July, 2006

‘Unplugged’ - Same Number, New World In 2007

‘Unplugged’ - a personalised service that makes voice, broadband and mobile simple and accessible - is being launched next year, starting in Tauranga.

The $50m investment will see TelstraClear develop a high-speed wireless network that lets you talk and use broadband wherever you are, whenever you want to - and keep your local phone number.

TelstraClear Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth says ‘Unplugged’ will provide a choice to more than 100,000 household and business customers and deliver a range of telecommunications services.

“We will be introducing proven technology that delivers phone calls, broadband, mobile and more. It will be simple, portable and easy to use and unlike anything New Zealanders have seen before,” says Dr Freeth.

Dr Freeth says the next step is to secure sites for wireless base stations, working with the Tauranga City Council and local community to ensure the service is up and running in a year’s time.

“We have the full support of Telstra and proven technology. Our local sales team simply can’t wait to get started on something that will be a first for New Zealand.”

“From there, with the business model up and running we’ll look to expand into other communities.”

Dr Freeth says the investment has been under development for some time and the decision to proceed was aided by recent government announcements to improve competition in the telecommunications market.

“We’ve been delighted with the government’s recent decisions on broadband and what they will mean in terms of an open market. ‘Unplugged’ shows we are prepared to invest - but not prepared to wait - when it comes to delivering something really different to customers.”

“Last year we made it clear that broadband was a key growth area for our business. Now we are investing for growth with a soon-to-be-released consumer broadband service, continued investment in our Wellington and Christchurch networks and ‘Unplugged’.”

“In addition to national network upgrades, our $20m South Island network build and the recent opening of a new national customer contact centre in Kapiti, it is clear we are investing in a strong future in New Zealand.”

‘Unplugged’ will use 3G technology, which is capable of delivering high quality triple play voice, broadband and mobile services. It has a global development path to ensure customers continue to receive the latest services.

TelstraClear will build base stations in the Tauranga area and a core network in Auckland, so the service can be managed in conjunction with the company’s other networks. Exact coverage will be determined as sites are secured.

The company will offer the service via retail stores in Tauranga.

The wireless network will link directly to TelstraClear’s national fibre backbone and complement the existing fibre network in the Tauranga CBD.

Dr Freeth says TelstraClear chose Tauranga because it is a growing provincial city from which to launch the service.

“Tauranga provides us with a great opportunity to develop and launch a local service in a relatively short time frame. As a growing centre it’s an ideal location to introduce a service that will redefine the way New Zealanders think about telecommunications.”

ENDS


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