Spark New Zealand has introduced new competitive pricing for the majority of its plans and Fibre Landline, voice-over-fibre technology, for landline calling, in a bid to lure customers over to its plans.
The telco has also launched new Fibre 200 plans (up to 200Mbps download and 20Mbps upload) available with a Fibre Landline service or as a standalone Naked Broadband service.
Spark Home, Mobile and Business Chief Executive, Chris Quin, believes fast fibre has “never been more attractive to customers” as the cost of these plans starts to line up with the company’s ADSL and VDSL broadband plans.
“The Internet TV market has taken off this year, led by the great line-up of TV shows on Lightbox,” Quin says.
“We think this will fast become the way mainstream New Zealanders watch TV and movies.
“This change in behaviour, and the continued growth in online gaming, music streaming and social media, means more of our customers are demanding the speeds fibre can offer, combined with larger – or unlimited - data allowances.
“These new Ultra Fibre plans give home broadband customers even more incentive to be with Spark.”
Previously, Spark Ultra Fibre customers who wanted a landline needed two separate connections - one for their fibre broadband service, and the other for their copper landline service.
However Quin says the introduction of Fibre Landline means Spark can provide broadband and landline services over a single fibre connection.
Spark Fibre Landline works differently from most other voice-over-fibre products because it provides customers with a dedicated ‘lane of traffic’ for their landline service and another for their data service, all over one fibre connection.
“Instead of carrying all our customers’ fibre broadband and landline traffic over the top of broadband, we’re able to manage and monitor these services separately, promoting better voice quality and improved broadband performance,” Quin adds.
“This is important because it means as fibre becomes available to more New Zealanders, customers with a landline will continue to have a smooth experience making calls even at busy times on the network.
“Customers can also choose to use Fibre Landline as a standalone service without a broadband connection - especially helpful to those living in areas such as new sub-divisions and buildings where fixed telecommunications are only available over fibre.”
Quinn says Fibre Landline comes with all the functions of the copper landline service, along with extras like ‘Divert my number if unreachable’ - which allows customers to set up an alternative number to divert calls to if their landline services goes down, for example, in a power outage.
Also, customers can access the different functions of Fibre Landline by logging into MySpark portal – an online self-service tool that helps customers setup, monitor and manage these various extras.
Migrating or switching to a new Spark Ultra Fibre plan
From today, Quin says new and existing Spark customers who want to move from a copper connection to fibre and who require a landline will be connected to Fibre Landline, as part of the standard fibre installation by their local fibre company (LFC).
Over the next few months existing Ultra Fibre customers will also be migrated over to one of Spark’s new Ultra Fibre plans and (if they require a landline service) to Fibre Landline.
If they don’t require a landline, they can choose one of Spark’s new Naked Broadband plans - it will also be possible for customers to keep a copper landline if they wish to but this will come at an additional charge.
“Whatever the scenario, we’ll be working with our partners to ensure existing fibre customers who want to move onto the new Ultra Fibre plans and use a fibre landline are switched over with as little hassle as possible,” Quin says.
“Of course, if we think there will be delays sending a technician out to the customer we’ll let them know as soon as we can.”
Quin adds that Fibre Landline and a new range of Ultra Fibre plans will also be available for Spark Business and Spark Digital customers – pricing and features will vary.