Consumers getting more telco services for less cost: ComCom report

Consumers are getting more telecommunications services for less cost, according to the Commerce Commission's latest annual telecommunications monitoring report analysing the state of New Zealand’s telecommunications markets.

“Spending on telecommunications services is about the same in real terms as it was 10 years ago, but consumers are getting far more – data, texts and calling minutes – for their money, particularly in the mobile market,” says telecommunications commissioner Stephen Gale.

“We’ve also seen a steady increase in online activity by New Zealanders. This demand is driving improvements in both personal and business communications as well as education, health and entertainment. Online services that are large and growing include internet banking, social networking, online purchasing and health services.”

The report also finds that industry investment increased from a recent low of $1.24 billion in 2010/11 to $1.58 billion in 2012/13. This increase was largely driven by the ultra-fast broadband fibre network roll-out.

Fixed broadband connections continued to grow from 1.24 million to 1.32 million in the year to 30 June 2013.

According to the report, about 85% of households have broadband now, up from 65% three years earlier.

Fixed-line calling volumes continue to fall, while mobile calling volumes are increasing. Total mobile minutes grew to 83 minutes per person per month, while fixed-line calling declined to 401 minutes per household per month.

Total retail telecommunications revenues suffered a slight fall in 2012/13 to drift back to $5.21 billion from $5.25 billion in the prior year. Data revenues continue to rise while voice related revenues continue to fall.

The report is the seventh annual telecommunications market monitoring report produced by the commission as part of its on-going monitoring of the evolution of competition in the telecommunications sector in New Zealand.

A lot of the data for the annual monitoring report is collected from an annual telecommunications industry questionnaire administered by the commission. The aggregated results from this questionnaire are also published, although some data is withheld on commercial sensitivity grounds.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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