Vodafone NZ loses customers

UPDATE 10.15am: Vodafone New Zealand says third quarter results reflect a competitive market

Vodafone NZ lost 14,000 customers in the financial quarter to December 31, it was reported in Vodafone Group results yesterday.

According to the report, Vodafone has 2,420,000 customers – down from 2,434,000 the previous quarter. In the news release, it notes that New Zealand’s revenue has been affected by the regulation of mobile termination rates.

“In New Zealand service revenue growth was impacted by voice and SMS termination rate cuts and the uptake of more competitively priced tariffs.”

Vodafone Group reported a 2.3 percent drop in revenue for the last three months of 2011, blaming economic conditions, particularly across southern Europe. Revenue for Vodafone's third quarter was £11.6 billion (NZ $22 billion). The company didn't report on its quarterly net profit.

Yesterday 2degrees announced it has 875,656 customers, an increase of 295,545 on the number of subscribers it claimed in March last year.

Telecom told investors in August last year it had 1.2 million connections on its XT network – accounting for 56 percent of the customer base and 82 percent of cellular revenue. Its half year announcement will be released on Friday February 24.

UPDATE 10.15am

Vodafone New Zealand has emailed Computerworld the following statement about the loss of customers.

Vodafone New Zealand’s quarter three customer numbers, released today, reflect continued strong competition in the market.

The on account customer base saw strong growth as customers signed up to the new Smart Plans which offer a bundle of any-network minutes, TXTs and data at a range of price points. Customers also flocked to Vodafone’s iPhone 4S plans which launched in December, offering significant handset rebates.

NZBestMate which launched in the quarter showed Vodafone’s continued commitment to giving customers great value regardless of the network they are calling or TXTing. Available on selected Smart plans, NZBestMate allows customers to choose 1000 minutes and 1000 TXTs a month to any New Zealand mobile or 1000 minutes to any New Zealand landline.

The decline in prepay customer numbers slowed in the December quarter, as a result of Vodafone’s Prepay Smart Plans which launched in mid-way through the period. However, competition in the market for prepay customers remains strong.

Vodafone will continue to focus on offering great any-network value; enabling customers to confidently connect to the people and information that matters to them; and delivering an excellent experience to customers in store, online and on the phone.

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