Cheers as 2Degrees founder investor Tex Edwards speakers out

Having won the previous years award for the Best Mobile Network at the NetGuide Web Awards, hopes must have been high at 2Degrees for a repeat win.

The event was held last Thursday 20th February at the Hilton in Auckland and  presided over by South African comedian Urzila Carlson.

“We’d invited both Tex Edwards the founder investor in a personal capacity and a representative of the company as finalists to attend”. Sean Mitchell, Publisher, NetGuide

“When the announcement came that 2Degrees had indeed won, the comedian followed the script and also invited up both representatives to the stage.

“By that stage not many of the previous category winners had made speeches, but Tex took to the microphone and captivated the crowd.

Edwards introduced himself as a founder investor [ie not currently with the company] and had a clear message: the government is weak on competition regulation.

In just a two-minute window, he made four points:
-       That there was unfinished business in the regulation, the playing field wasn’t yet even.
-       The recent spectrum auction was an outrage and cements the current Vodafone & Telecom dominance.
-       That 2Degrees had made a difference in dropping prices, but wasn’t yet of a scale to be sustainable.
-       He thanked customers and urged more to support the company.

All of which is consistent with his November submission to the Commerce Commission, which you can read here.

He was followed by Paul O’Brien, 2Degree’s Social Media specialist. Who added that 2Degrees wouldn’t be here today without Tex and that it’s time for more people to switch from the incumbents.

While there was no new information divulged by the duo, the message resounded with the audience and cheers of “go 2Degrees” could be heard.

Four years on from the launch of New Zealand’s third mobile phone network a lot has changed, but permanent structural change to aid competition seems further away than ever.

Edwards is right, without more New Zealanders moving to 2Degrees, the shareholders will eventually tire of an unsupportive government. This could see a return to the comfy duopoly that cost New Zealand two decades of mobile innovation.

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