2012 New Zealand - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Last updated: 15 Feb 2012 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 183

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications – mobile communications, ultra-fast broadband network and regulatory developments in New Zealand. Subjects include:

  • Key players in the market including the incumbent operator;
  • Regulatory changes affecting the market;
  • Planned spectrum changes to the analogue/digital TV and mobile frequencies;
  • Key telecommunications statistics;
  • An overall market snapshot with statistics and selected market forecasts;
  • Market analysis and descriptive commentary of current and future market changes.

Researchers:- Stephen McNamara, Paul Budde
Current publication date:- February 2012 (15th Edition)

Executive Summary

Faster broadband networks will deliver consumer and economic turnaround

BuddeComm’s New Zealand - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts annual publication provides a detailed overview including statistics and analysis of the regulatory, infrastructure, fixed voice and digital media sectors of the New Zealand telecommunications market. In the report an overview of the key market players are also provided.

The New Zealand telecoms market is now a dynamic market as the reforms that have been occurring over the past years are taking effect for the benefit of the end-users and the competing operators. In late 2011 Telecom New Zealand, the incumbent operator, was split in two so as the ultra-fibre network could be deployed by the demerged network access entity Chorus. Chorus now becomes the provider of fixed-line access and telecommunications infrastructure.

While the New Zealand Ultra-Fast Broadband and the Regional Broadband Initiatives are now both in the process of being developed and deployed across the countryside, it is both of these developments that will have a major impact on the way the many applications that need to communicate and drive the economic future of the country. Both these infrastructure deployments will certainly not offer an immediate solution as it will take at least the next decade to fully expand the networks and associated developments.

Simultaneous rollouts of the UFB fibre across a number of regions by several LFCs commenced during 2011 with more network builds to commence during 2012. Schools have been one of the first to get connected to the high-speed network with school, medical and health centres to be the priority targeted with all to be connected by 2016.

The fixed-line voice market (voice calls and local access) is continuing to lose overall share of the telecom services market – call prices and volumes continue to drop – as the uptake of mobile services continues. Fibre will see further IP telephony including MoIP and digital media uptake increases in the coming years.

Wireless broadband uptake continues to rapidly expand with 10% more growth in 2011 on top of what there was in 2010. Into 2012 the percentage increase is expected to slow as other uptake of technologies such as fibre increase in 2012/13.

Competition from mobile broadband is pushing pricing down and contributing to an even greater regional coverage. The commitment from the government and the commencement of the multi-million dollar investment in securing widespread access to high-speed broadband internet may even present a further hurdle for wireless providers as the national UFB/RBI infrastructure closes the gaps in coverage.

But close to a 100% increase in the number of mobile broadband subscribers since mid-2009 to early 2012 has mobile broadband now representing a sizeable portion of the country’s total broadband subscriber base. Nevertheless wireless broadband offerings will continue to be provided around niche markets and around New Zealand’s major tourist centres. WiFi will form a small part of the RBI coverage to deploy the coverage into rural areas.

In early 2012 mobile network operator 2degrees has around 17% market share in just over two years since launching in the previous duopoly mobile market. With the new player creating some price-based competition in the saturated New Zealand mobile market the resulting churn between operators saw market share sliding.

Market highlights:

  • UFB fibre deployment across the 33 regions commences and will continue for 8 years;
  • ADSL2 upgrade program completed providing up to 10Mb/s for 80% of the population;
  • Telecom the incumbent operator, split into two separate companies;
  • Mobile subscribers continue pass the five million mark and keep climbing;
  • 2degrees subscribers grew on average by 1,000 customers a day since launching;
  • The pay TV market hovers around 50% household penetration as digital TV conversion peaks;
  • Mobile termination rates for voice reduced while SMS MTRs slashed;
  • Chorus and Vodafone commence the Rural Broadband Initiative network upgrades.

New Zealand – Key telecom parameters – 2010 - 2011

Year (Jun)









Total broadband subscribers (million)




Broadband penetration




Fixed Lines




Fixed telephone lines in service (million)








Mobile subscribers (million) (Dec)




Mobile penetration (%)




(Compiled by BuddeComm, various industry sources)

For those needing detailed overviews, statistics and forecasts, as well as objective analysis on all aspects of the New Zealand telecoms industry, this report provides essential reading and gives in-depth information on:

  • An overall market overview with statistics and forecasts;
  • Operating overview of the key players in the market including financial overviews;
  • Fixed and wireless broadband market overview;
  • The Ultra-fast broadband network and Rural Broad Initiative players;
  • Telecommunications infrastructure;
  • Regulatory developments;
  • Digital media and the digital economy;
  • Fixed network voice and VoIP markets;
  • Mobile communications and regulatory issues covering spectrum developments.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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