Cellnet says there are sectors of its New Zealand business that can fill the gap that will be created when its agreement with Telecom ceases at the end of September.
Over the coming six months Telecom is phasing in a new relationship with US-headquartered giant Brightstar for mobile devices and supply chain services, as the company prepares to launch its new mobile network in November. Brightstar has logistics centres and sales offices in Melbourne and Sydney.
Cellnet’s local general manager John Dunbar was philosophical about the phase out of the agreement, saying the telco needed to align with a large buying group.
Newer areas of business that could fill the gap for Cellnet include a growing GPS navigation offering (it distributes Navman), along with its increasing business with IBM, Dunbar says.
He also says the end of the Telecom contract means it will be able to take on a wider range of accessories for GSM phones.
Cellnet wasn’t able to compete in Telecom’s new tender process because it doesn’t buy handsets, Dunbar says.
Stephen Harrison, managing director at Cellnet in Australia was reported in an Australian newspaper as saying that the distributor was in discussion about distributing GSM mobile products. However, Dunbar says he can’t go into detail about possible discussions by Cellnet with any other companies as they are sensitive.
The trans-Tasman Cellnet Group said earlier its annual revenues could fall A$148 million from October. Dunbar says there will be some financial impact on Cellnet locally once the Telecom contract ends, but says the handset business contributed small profits despite big revenues.
Telecom says Brightstar’s global experience and scale places it in the best position to help increase choice, access and speed of new product introduction for customers, says general manager of mobile, Martin Butler.
Brightstar’s chairman, CEO and president Marcelo Claure says his company wants to “dramatically improve” the mobile device supply chain for Telecom.