Kordia’s Strategic Review

Kordia are undergoing a strategic review as reported by Computerworld. It’s about time. Kordia could have been the shared infrastructure company of New Zealand’s wireless ecosystem – as dominant and profitable player as Chorus is set to be on the fixed line side of things.

Instead of sticking to its core business of maintaining towers and transmission to a high standard, Kordia attempted to grab everything it could. Gallingly, in almost all the cases of their numerous commercial failures, they went head to head with their existing infrastructure and wholesale services customers instead of cooperating with them. And they did so with appalling personal and organizational arrogance.

The bigger failures:

  • Metro Wi-Fi network that didn’t meet the needs of its users
  • Rural wireless product that had massive functional issues
  • Metro wireless Ethernet product that was expensive and based on dated technology
  • The KorKor network – inferior coverage to TeamTalk and inferior technology to Telecom’s XT.
  • AIS network – too little, too late, and too expensive for many harbourmasters and port companies
  • OptiKor – might have done well but since handed off to Axin, a secretive shell company hiding secretive inves* tors
  • A strident bid for the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative that had them partner with Woosh and FX, which featured unbelievable technological claims

Aside from DTV (and remind me who paid for that) where have they headed in the right direction?

  • Offshore contracts – bringing cash back to NZ. Nice work.
  • OnKor Wide Area Network Services – a technically excellent product taking advantage of fibre rights held from the Clear days and a microwave network built to move television broadcasts around – complimentary to Orcon
  • Odyssey – control international transit and you can provide QoS to your customers – nice long term partner to Orcon
  • Orcon – a real competitor in the market, but are Kordia committed to it long term?

Keeping in mind that Onkor and Orcon compete against Kordia’s wholesale clients, and Odyssey is most useful as a part of that ecosystem, here’s some strategy:

1. Package Orcon, OnKor, and Odyssey up & divest them. Stop competing with the best potential customers of your huge (and maybe overvalued) asset base.

2. Go to Vodafone, Telecom, & 2degrees, JDA, local councils, and other tower owners, hat in hand, and say “hey guys, we know we screwed this up a few years ago, but from now on how about we start working together on tower and transmission infrastructure. Oh, and LTE with its 700MHz rural towers and high density 2500MHz urban microcell requirements might be a great time to start”

That would be a good day for Kordia, and its owners, the people of New Zealand.

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