What's up with Vodafone going legal? Last week, it announced that it was taking Telecom NZ to court, because of alleged network interference from the latter's new mobile network.
Now, interference between networks is nothing new, and usually, you ask the engineers to sort it out. Vodafone, however, went to court, in a risky gambit that could backfire horribly in every way. Curiously enough, Vodafone sent out the release that it was suing Telecom after five o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, without providing any actual details on the interference. This isn't what you would normally do if you're going to court to defend your rights and want public opinion on your side.
I'll be going to the court hearing on Wednesday, in the hope that more details will be revealed. Vodafone's action does have the potential to delay Telecom NZ's launch of its new XT WCDMA network on 13 May, and as the interference problem has been known to both telcos for at least a month now, and possibly longer, you have to ask if the timing of the court action is coincidental.
Vodafone is showing signs that it is becoming more aggressive in dealing with the competition and regulation. Early April, it wrote to the Commerce Commission, the New Zealand regulator, and said it was prepared to launch a judicial review into what it sees as substantial procedural errors in the regulator's determination work. Is the latest court action defensive or offensive? Wednesday should tell.