Vodafone has lodged a submission that supports a review of the Telecommunications Act 2001, calling for the government to secure a regulatory environment that supports continued investment and innovation.
In responding to a Discussion Document issued by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the telco claims to be “determined to unlock the potential of next generation services”.
“The Government has set ambitious targets for connectivity out to 2025 and now is the time to ensure we have an industry structure that supports and enables these targets to be achieved,” says Russell Stanners, CEO, Vodafone.
“We have already deployed 4G services to 85 percent of New Zealanders and are leading the charge towards a Fibre Future in fixed broadband.
“The demand for fixed broadband services will continue to grow through to 2020, with fibre leading the way.
“Structural separation of copper and fibre services has already delivered significant benefit to customers and kept prices down through intense competition.”
Stanners says a key element that will enable New Zealand to realise the full potential of investment in the UFB Initiative is mass market “fibre unbundling”.
As explained by Stanners, this is where the UFB network is opened up to all service providers, allowing them to invest directly in providing new and innovative fibre services.
“By delivering certainty around the price and terms of access to Layer 1 and Layer 2 copper and fibre services well in advance of 2020, we will deliver a step-change in innovation and uptake, and enable Kiwi homes and businesses to gain the benefit of speed and affordability,” Stanners explains.
In addition to fibre unbundling, Stanners says Vodafone has a “bold vision” to take wireless technologies further and faster.
“Our ambition is for all New Zealanders to access gigabit speeds over mobile, including New Zealanders in rural locations,” he adds.
“Our customers are using more and more data and expect streaming service to be fast and efficient in order to connect with each other, or to run and grow their business.
“Newer, faster networks are imperative for consumers, businesses, health and emergency services, and the government.
“We are already in the early stages of 5G technology development which has the potential to radically enhance the speed, resilience and intelligence of future networks.
“A regulatory environment that is technology neutral, and preserves sufficient flexibility to reflect the fast-moving and competitive nature of our sector, is critical.
“We support an increased focus on deregulation where it is appropriate.”