ComCom releases six-monthly telecomms report

Upshot in mobile network switching and growth in landline wholesaling among findings

Mobile phone users are porting to a new network in record numbers, thanks to three technologically-compatible networks now being in operation in New Zealand.

That’s one of the findings of the Commerce Commission’s latest market monitoring report, released today, which looks at mobile and fixed telecommunications market in the January-June period, and also some later developments.

The report notes “the volume of porting was relatively low at around one percent of total mobile connections per year and never exceeded 5,000 in a month from April 2007 until June 2009.

“In July 2009 the volume increased to 5,400 after the launch of Telecom’s new 3G XT network at the end of May 2009”.

The number of users switching networks shot up in August to 15,500 and soared to 17,300 in September, thanks to the entrance of 2Degrees into the market, the report notes.

“It was reported that around 3,000 of the mobile number ports in September were Vodafone customers switching to Telecom’s new XT network and taking their existing number with them, and a similar number were Telecom customers switching to Vodafone.

“This suggests the remaining approximately 11,000 mobile ports were Vodafone customers switching to 2Degrees and taking their existing number with them”.

2Degrees’ entry into the market has also lowered prepay prices, with the report noting “For the first time in the Commission’s analysis, New Zealand’s prepay prices are benchmarked at below the OECD average”.

Developments in the fixed line space include the number of residential lines wholesaled by Telecom to another provider rising to 250,000 as at June 30 and the number of lines provided by local loop unbundling – the putting of competitors’ equipment in Telecom exchanges – increasing to 37,000 at the end of June.

The report also has a summary of important industry events and contains several graphs relating to New Zealand’s performance against other OECD nations in both mobile and landline telecommunications.

The full report can be viewed at the commission’s website.

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