On the 28th of November I will launch our annual report on telecommunications and broadband market in New Zealand in Wellington and Auckland.
The report will also include a full analysis of the current market situation. Enclosed are some of the highlights of the report:
- Overall revenue growth increased over the year – from 9% in 2000 to 10% in 2001.
- Ongoing competitive pressures combined with regulatory uncertainties and technological advancements in wireless technology continue to force change in the industry.
- Both Vodafone NZ and CLEAR Communications made profits for the first time in 2001.
- Telecom NZ’s (TCNZ) share of total industry revenues has slipped from an estimated 80% in 1999, to 74% in 2000, and 65% in 2001. This has been driven by Vodafone NZ, which has been very aggressive in terms of subscriber acquisition and now has around 43% share of the mobile market.
- Growth was again driven by mobile (54%) and, to a lesser extent, by the data and Internet market (13%).
- However, there remain concerns that the great data wave – meant to offset the voice decline – is proving more fragile than first hoped.
- Regulatory uncertainty is set to continue at least to the early part of 2002 as the Telecommunications Bill slowly passes through public and parliamentary scrutiny.
- As the new Telecommunications Commissioner settles into the role in 2002 there will likely be new assessment of the pricing access regimes to incumbent fixed line networks. Cheaper access will ultimately lead to further pricing pressure, with operators aggressively searching for market share.
- The gradual liberalisation of the industry will continue the entry of competitive operators, especially in the mobile, international long-distance and Internet access markets.
- However, competition will see the consolidation or demise of smaller, less well-capitalised competitors.
- Telstra is rumoured to be interested in CLEAR. Telecom remains a tempting target despite its acquisition of AAPT.
- CLEAR has failed to agree on an interconnection agreement with Telecom. It is unlikely the stalemate will last long but it brings some uncertainty to the market as a whole.
- Vodafone has again been a big winner with 48% growth over the year and the addition of its one millionth subscriber.
- Mobile is set for a major shake up in 2002 as a new player – Econet Wireless New Zealand (EWNZ) – enters the market with the country’s second GSM network.
- 2002 will see the full impact of Telecom’s CDMA technology. It is a stepping stone to 3G and will be an interesting test of Kiwis’ interest in high-speed mobile data services.
- There are indications that e-commerce and Internet usage – especially in the residential and SME market – has significantly improved during 2001.
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