Digital opportunities abound with NZ's fast fibre


Thursday, 12 October, 2017


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The latest telecommunications report has now been released by IDC New Zealand.

The report, titled 'New Zealand Telecommunications: The Streets are Paved with Glass', shows that investment in ultrafast fibre and 4G mobile networks has opened up more digital opportunities for NZ.

Telecommunications retailers are shifting focus from connectivity provider to digital services provider. Innovative new digital products and services have hit the market, such as 2degrees DataClock and Vodafone's My Flex Prepay.

"New Zealand has the second-fastest fibre subscription growth rate in the OECD countries. Getting ahead of the rest of the world in infrastructure terms removes some of the so-called tyranny of distance for New Zealand,” said Monica Collier, research manager for telecommunications at IDC New Zealand.

In digital terms, New Zealand has had the equivalent of a brand-new motorway network rolled out all over the country. Global digital marketplaces are becoming more prevalent and world-class infrastructure means New Zealand is less handicapped by being far away in geographical terms. This creates opportunity for New Zealanders to start and run their business anywhere, even in remote towns. They can have digital marketplaces located where it makes sense for each industry.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • The highly competitive retail side of telecommunications has meant the average price for a residential 100/20 Mbps fibre with uncapped data has fallen from NZ$119.07 per month to NZ$87.78 this year (across 16 tracked retail providers).
  • Retailers are offering customers sign-up perks, free months, account credits, streaming video subscriptions, and free TVs and gaming consoles. This is great news for the end user but for the retail telecommunications industry increasing input prices means margins are getting tighter. With around 92 retailers, IDC believes the industry can expect some consolidation over the next 12 months.
  • With over 80% of the ultrafast broadband build complete, Chorus and the local fibre providers are shifting their focus from build to grow. One in three households with access to fibre has connected and the race is on between Chorus and the LFCs and private fibre providers to win connections into business premises.

“New Zealand has a reputation for being easy to do business with, having an innovative culture and high-quality education. Having this superb digital infrastructure across the country means New Zealand can get ahead of other nations and take a slice of the growing digital marketplace,” said Collier.

“We are famous for being clean and green, being strong in agriculture and tourism and having a world champion rugby team. Perhaps we can leverage some of those strengths, use the new infrastructure and in the future become known for punching above our weight in the global knowledge economy.”

IDC has advised telecommunications companies to develop strategies and a deliberate approach to monetising data growth driven by digital infrastructure.

Image credit: ©alexskopje/Dollar Photo Club

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