Telecom XT outages to cost NZ$20m

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Telecom XT outages to cost NZ$20m

Rules out seeking compensation from Alcatel-Lucent.

Telecom New Zealand is to dish out another NZ$10 million to affected customers after yet another failure on its XT mobile network, bringing the total compensation cost to around NZ$20 million.

A visibly embarrassed chief executive Paul Reynolds had to once again front up to media and customers to explain another massive outage that left 220,000 customers without full XT service, in an attempt to restore faith in the incumbent's new 3G network.

Telecom senior management have been touring the South Island, talking to business customers and corporates there, to persuade them to stay on the XT network.

As part of the compensation package announced today by Telecom Retail chief executive Alan Gourdie, retail customers on contracts south of Taupo will receive a credit if they stay on XT.

This amounts to a third of their monthly plan charges, and includes voice, SMS and mobile broadband services, said Gourdie.

Pre-pay customers will receive a third bonus each time they top up, and the all-important business and enterprise customers that Telecom is trying to rescue will get a fifty percent bonus.

The compensation plan runs over three months.

Reynolds said that Telecom doesn't intend to seek compensation from Alcatel-Lucent, its technology partner that built the 3G WCDMA-only network.

Reynolds also confirmed earlier speculation its chief transformation officer had resigned because of the problems.

Mount was on a two-year contract with Telecom that was due to expire in June this year.

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