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Monday, May 18


In a first for New Zealand, common te Reo Maori words will now be
recognised in the predictive text message function and auto voice dialling
on certain Telecom 3G handsets.

Customers using these handsets on Telecom’s soon-to-be-launched XT Mobile
Network will be able to type a word in Maori in a text message, and it
will be instantly recognised by the phone in the same way that English
words are.

“Introducing te reo Maori to some of our services is a move that reflects
Telecom’s’ Kiwi heritage, and the unique culture of Aotearoa New Zealand,”
says Telecom Retail CEO, Alan Gourdie.

Te Taura Whiri it te Reo Maori (the Maori Language Commission) was
consulted regarding the word selection, and the Commission’s Chief
Executive Huhana Rokx says they are delighted to have supported Telecom
with this service.

“This initiative ensures that te Reo Maori remains a valid form of texting
discourse. Our young people who are growing up as bilingual Maori
language speakers are also active mobile users and expect the same
immediate service that predictive texting offers in the English language,”
says Ms Rokx.

As well as common greetings, the words include days of the week, months of
the year, the numbers one to ten, and popular New Zealand place names.

The devices capable of te Reo Maori predictive text messaging will include
two Telecom-branded handsets and the Samsung S8300 Ultra Touch, with more
devices to be added with the feature after launch. The two Telecom
branded handsets also feature spoken voice dialling in Maori, Chinese and
English, - where the handset will say aloud the numbers from 0-9 when they
are pressed.

Customers who move to the new network won’t need to change their phone
number, and Telecom and Gen-i will have a range of offers to make it easy
for both new and existing customers to switch. Telecom’s current mobile
network continues to operate and will be supported as normal following the
XT Mobile Network launch in late May.

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