I have been meaning to blog about this for a while.  And that’s the rise of Telecom vs Vodafone in NZ, and who wins in the cool stakes.

Actually I should take a step back, let’s first talk about the FALL of Telecom.  When Bell South came along in NZ it got a whole bunch of high end business users, but was not regarded as mainstream by many.  From memory, estimates were it had around 10% market share.  It also had coverage issues, especially in Auckland.

When Vodafone bought Bell South in 1998, their market share begun to steadily climb, for a whole bunch of reasons:

  1. It had a superior product (GSM sim card based tech vs CDMA)
  2. Better phones (more GSM handsets from the then market leader Nokia)
  3. Telecom was the atypical monopoly, and people hated them, so anyone who wasn’t them was perceived as better
  4. Most important, IMHO, Vodafone was COOL.  Telecom was boring, old and .. well, not cool.  Vodafone marketed this very well at the time.

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