Broadband connections double in five years

By Susie Nordqvist

File photo
File photo

Fixed broadband connections have more than doubled in the last five years, to reach 61 per cent of households, latest research has revealed.

The Commerce Commission's 2009/2010 telecommunications monitoring report shows there are now more than 1 million broadband connections in New Zealand, up from 0.48 million five years ago.

Wholesale broadband connections (excluding unbundled copper local loop or UCLL) have more than tripled over the same time from 100,000 to 342,000 connections.

In the mobile market, while call minutes increased by five per cent, usage remained low by international standards, with New Zealanders making an average of 79 minutes of calls per month.

In Australia the figure is 120 minutes per month while in the UK it is 198 minutes.

"In addition, off-net prices are significantly higher than on-net prices, discouraging calls between customers of competing networks," the Commerce Commission said.

The Commerce Commission said investment in the telco industry reduced when compared with 2008/2009, largely due to the completion of Telecom's XT network and the first stage of 2degrees' mobile network.

The report also found:

* 2degrees was successful in winning 8 per cent market share by subscriber but had a much lower share of voice traffic with 100 per cent of subscribers being prepaid.

* Competition continues to erode Telecom's share of industry revenues but at a smaller rate than the loss of retail customers. The commission estimates Telecom's share of total industry revenue is
now around 57 per cent, a loss of nearly 2 percentage points in the past year.

* Demand for number portability has grown since 2degrees entered the market indicating a growing churn rate between carriers The number of mobile numbers ported went from 2000 to 6000 when 2degrees launched to between 8,000 and 18,000 per month since.

* There were 4.7 million mobile connections, 1.88 million fixed line connections and 1.05 million fixed broadband connections as of June last year.

* While growth in mobile connections has slowed markedly in recent years, the launch of new devices (tablets) may increase the number of connections.

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