New Zealand's retail fixed-line broadband market grew 5.3 per cent last year, while data use per connection jumped 23 per cent, with Spark New Zealand maintaining its market dominance, the Commerce Commission's annual review shows.
Fixed broadband connections reached 1.39 million as at June 30, 2014, from 1.32 million a year earlier, according to the commission's eighth annual telecommunications market monitoring report. Average data consumed per connection rose to 32 gigabytes from 26GB.
The latest review shows the continuing trend of growth in mobile at the expense of fixed-line services. Fixed-line calling volumes fell to 8.26 billion minutes last year from 8.98 billion minutes in 2013. Mobile minutes rose to a record 5.3 billion from 4.77 billion.
Total retail telecommunications revenue fell to $5.17 billion in 2014, the second annual decline, while total telecommunications investment rose to $1.69 billion, the third annual increase.
While fixed-line broadband connections rose, and have now reached 31 per 100 New Zealanders, total fixed lines were static at 1.85 million.
Average broadband speeds, based on the Akamai survey, rose to 7.3 kilobits per second in 2014 from 5.3 kbps in 2013 and just 2.7 kbps in 2008.
The number of unbundled fixed lines rose to 131,000 from 129,000 in 2013, while wholesale broadband lines, not Spark, rose to 463,000 from 455,000.
Total fixed-line retail revenues fell for a third year to $2.68 billion from $2.77 billion in 2013, while Spark's share of fixed-line rental revenue fell to 58 per cent from 60 per cent. In 2006 it reaped 80 per cent of such sales.
In mobile, connections rose to 5.3 million from 4.9 million, amounting to 118 per 100 people. Of that, 63.6 per cent were prepaid, up from 63.3 per cent in 2013.
Text messaging continued to decline, to 12 billion in 2014 from 13 billion in 2013.
Total mobile retail revenue rose to $2.49 billion from $2.44 billion.
Vodafone retained the largest market share, at above 40 per cent, although declining, while Spark and its Skinny brand continued to climb, to about 35 pe rcent, and 2degrees held at about 24 per cent.
Spark's estimated internet service provider market share was unchanged at 49 per cent, compared with 32 per cent for Vodafone.
CallPlus accounted for 13 per cent, following its acquisition of Orcon, which it added to its Slingshot, CallPlus and Flip brands.
All other competitors amounted to 6 per cent.