Thursday, October 29, 2009

Telecom XT: New Phones, Broadband Plans &.. Ye Gods! Do We Finally Get Unlimited Texting?!

By Benedict Wee

It's good to know that the squiggly 5 year-old drawing isn't the only thing Telecom NZ decided to revamp in their recent overhaul.

In a press release yesterday, the telco announced that they were introducing 'Non-Stop Text', an unlimited texting add-on for their XT network that allows you to send as many texts as you want to any network for NZ$12 a month. The catch to this offer is that you got to sign up for the add-on by the 31st of January 2010 and it'll only last till 31st January 2011. (Link to site here).

This would mark Telecom NZ's return fire in the mobile war, specifically at 2Degrees who introduced any-network texting and calling at 9 cents a message and 44 cents a min respectively when they first launched.

No word on Vodafone's response to Telecom's new add-on, though I wouldn't hold my breath when it comes to them offering a similar promotion. I once had a debate about the lack of an unlimited plan on their blog and Paul (Vodafone's PR guy) responded by saying to the effect that we do not get the luxury of unlimited options in New Zealand. There were also some issues that he failed to comment on too.

The next announcement Telecom talked about was new mobile broadband rates for notebooks.

The details are as follows:
Prepaid - NZ$99 for a T-Stick Modem with SIM and 500MB data to use within the calendar month.

Postpaid - A free T-Stick Modem with 8GB of data at NZ$70 per month (NZ$80 if you're not a Telecom broadband customer) on a 24 month contract.

Postpaid - NZ$150 for a Turbo T-Stick Modem (at a fast 21Mbps) on a 24 month contract.
The last and not-so-interesting bit of the release is their latest offering of new mobiles; the Sony Ericsson Anio U10a (NZ$999) and the Samsung S6700 (NZ$499). Both of which are way too expensive and which lack any decent specs worth mentioning.

It looks like Telecom has decided to finally offer affordable services mobile-wise which the rest of the world has been enjoying for awhile now, although it would great if they'd also come up with better phones at more competitive prices (I could get an Android-run HTC tattoo for NZ$577 locally). Here's hoping competition would cause this to happen soon.

Telecom NZ - Press Release

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