According to the Commission’s latest annual telecommunications monitoring report, the telecommunications industry in New Zealand continues to change rapidly, with the continued strong growth in data consumption “highlighting the importance consumers place on participating in the digital world”.
Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said around 74% of households in New Zealand now had a fixed-line broadband connection and there were 5.8 million mobile devices, with nearly all phones sold now being smartphones with Internet connectivity.
“The cost of Internet use has dropped over the last year with up to four times the data included at the same price points. 100GB in a fixed-line voice and broadband plan can now be bought for NZ$65, NZ$10 less than a year before. At the high end, a 100Mbps fibre voice and broadband plan with unlimited data costs $90 per month, 19% less than the equivalent in Australia.”
“Those moving to fibre generally get all the speed they need, while congestion is also reducing on the copper network,” he said.
And, Dr Gale said mobile services were also very accessible in New Zealand, with an entry-level mobile plan with 50 minutes of calling and 100MB of data — “enough for messaging and online banking etc” — was priced at NZ$13 per month.
“Broadband and mobile service prices in New Zealand compare favourably internationally and it is pleasing to see our telco firms being responsive to the public’s consumption habits in terms of the pricing plans they have in the market.
“However, telecommunications consumers report a high level of problems and we believe there is plenty of room for improvement in customer service,” Dr Gale said.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Mobile calling — now averaging 146 minutes per person per month — has overtaken fixed line calling;
- The average monthly household broadband data consumption increased from 48GB to 69GB, and is growing at 46% per year;
- As at March 2017 the ultra-fast broadband fibre network is now passing 1.1 million homes and businesses, with 368,000 connected;
- Industry investment reduced to $1.59 billion from a record high of $1.77 billion in 2015;
- Mobile revenue increased to NZ$2.68 billion in 2016, surpassing that of fixed line at NZ$2.53 billion; and
- Total telecommunications retail revenue increased for the first time in four years to NZ$5.22 billion in 2016, up from NZ$5.11 billion in 2015 and NZ$5.17 billion the previous year.
To access the Commission’s full report click here.