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NZ mobile data demand doubles

Tue 30 Apr 2013
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Demand for mobile data across New Zealand continues to increase, doubling usage for second year in a row.

That is according to the Commerce Commission's 2012 telecommunications annual monitoring report, which says 2011/12 was marked by increased activity on mobile devices including smartphones.

Further findings includes a mild rebound of investment in the sector, flat company revenues, and a continued fall in market concentration compared to the previous year.

Analysing the state of New Zealand’s telecommunications markets, Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said mobile retail revenues also grew more strongly than in any recent years, hitting $2.38 billion, up from $2.14 billion in 2010/11.

“Fuelled by our ever-increasing use of smartphones and other mobile devices, New Zealanders almost doubled the amount of mobile data they used for the second year in a row," Gale said.

"Fixed broadband data use also doubled in the last year with the average amount of data traffic per user now at 19GB per annum.

“Total retail telecommunications revenues rose slightly in the last two years to reach $5.22 billion in 2011/12 after several years of minimal growth.

"Revenue growth has tended to be well behind inflation, so, with increasing data use, consumers are getting more for their money."

Market concentration continued to fall in the fixed line voice, fixed line broadband and mobile markets in 2011/2012 as the largest players lost market share.

But fixed broadband connections continued to grow, reaching 1.24 million during the period - pushing broadband penetration to around 78% of New Zealand households that have a fixed line connection.

Releasing a sixth report, the Commission said landline and mobile calling minutes and calling revenue figures showed a modest decline as people continue to use alternatives such as texting and social media networks in favour of making a call.

Other key findings include:

• Telecommunications investment picked up a little to $1.26 billion after peaking at $1.69 billion in 2008/09

• Naked broadband services (where fixed line broadband is provided without a conventional voice service) have continued to grow in popularity driven by availability of competitively priced fixed line broadband and VoIP services, and the falling price of mobile voice services

• Investment by Chorus and other local fibre companies is increasing as they work to meet ultra-fast broadband commitments to provide fibre-to-the-home networks in much of the country, however the full financial impact of their investment in the project is yet to be seen

• The three biggest players in the mobile market moved closer in terms of market share this year. On a connections basis Vodafone had 42% of the market, Telecom 37% and 2degrees 20% as at 30 June 2012, with smaller mobile resellers making up the remaining 1%

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