Writing my Hi Tech blog made me think about cellphones (or mobiles) in New Zealand. It’s obvious from the start it is a monopoly country, and I guess it may stay that way due to the population.
You have Telecom, who have some stupid old system that doesn’t use SIM cards, and Vodafone who has a monopoly for all the travellers, and many Kiwis as well so they can roam with it.
But it’s expensive. It’s like the UK years ago. 90c a minute for a call (about 30 pence), yet you can call the UK just now for 30 minutes for $3.
Considering the low population density the coverage is pretty good though, but gets poorer around parts of the South Island for obvious reasons – terrain, national parks and low population.
In saying that you can pretty much tell that if you are in a place you think that is remote but you have cell coverage, I reckon it’s a pretty good indication there are some pretty expensive baches (holiday homes) just tucked around the corner, or in the North Island, you are just about to hit another bunch of JAFA’s holiday homes (Just Another F!?”ing Auckland – sorry I just had to get that into my blogging somewhere).
Also, Vodafone’s service is terrible. Text messaging not working, long waits on hold to the call centre, voicemails delivered several days later – all really bad when you pretty much have a stranglehold on the market. I’ve been with them in the UK for years and they’ve been great.
Come on – give the Kiwis what they deserve Vodafone! Cheap calls, great service and even better coverage – you’re one of, if not the, largest phone company in the world!