Mobile Monopoly

Yep, sorry folks, Vodafone again.

Not really a criticism this time…

This was tucked away in an article about the delays the new mobile phone provider NZ Communications is facing in starting up a third network.

The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand said the delays were worrying. New Zealand was running out of time to prevent a mobile phone duopoly turning into a Vodafone monopoly.

This could possibly explain Vodafone’s patchy service, they have obviously grown quickly and that would stretch any organisation. And as the article says, they have invested in techonogly more effectively than Telecom.

I guess there will be those who will argue that if Telecom was a state owned provider it wouldn’t be in this position, but I think in fact this is why it is there. It had a fixed line monopoly even after it was sold and big corporates are like aircraft carriers, they take a long time to turn around. Telecom has an entrenched attitudes dating back to the bad old days when it rules the roost and it has never really managed to keep up with Vodafone – almost like the Apple vs Microsoft war – Vodafone managed to look hip and cool (despite being huge compared to Telecom) and Telecom looked like a dull out of touch corporate.

Vodafone has had the advantage of being international, having access to the latest trends in technology and being able to see what works (and what doesn’t – Japan) and being able to tailor it’s offering accordingly.

NZ Communications will struggle because it won’t have the reach or infrastructure of Telecom, nor the international clout of Vodafone. If NZ Communications makes it off the ground, it will be lucky to have 5-10% of the market.

So there is a real possibility that Vodafone is going to become a virtual monopoly… which is not a good things for consumers.

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