IDC New Zealand has proclaimed New Zealand to be “a land of digital opportunities” thanks to the investment in Ultra-Fast Fibre and its three 4G mobile networks.
The proclamation is contained in IDC NZ’s 2017 annual telecommunications market report titled New Zealand Telecommunications: The Streets are Paved with Glass.
In it IDC says telecommunications retailers are shifting focus from being connectivity providers to being digital services providers.
“Innovative new digital products and services have hit the market, such as 2degrees’ DataClock and Vodafone's My Flex Prepay,” IDC said.
"New Zealand has the second fastest fibre subscription growth rate in the OECD. Getting ahead of the rest of the world in infrastructure terms removes some of the so-called tyranny of distance for New Zealand.”
IDC New Zealand’s research manager for telecommunications, Monica Collier, said: "In digital terms, New Zealand has had the equivalent of a brand-new motorway network rolled out all over the country.
“Global digital market places are becoming more prevalent and world class infrastructure means New Zealand is less handicapped by being far away in geographical terms, This creates opportunity for New Zealanders to start and run their business anywhere, even in remote towns. They can have digital market places located where it makes sense for each industry whether on the farm or besides the ski-fields.”
Telco consolidation tipped
The report said that thanks to a competitive retail side of telecommunications, the average price for a residential 100/20Mbps fibre with uncapped data had fallen from $119.07 per month to $87.78 this year, across 16 tracked retail providers.
“Retailers are offering customers sign-up perks, free months, account credits, streaming video subscriptions, and free TVs and gaming consoles,” IDC said.
“This is great news for the end user but for the retail telecommunications industry increasing input prices means margins are getting tighter. With around 92 retailers, IDC believes the industry can expect some consolidation over the next 12 months.”
Summarising the opportunity in telecommunications for 2017, Collier said: “New Zealand has a reputation for being easy to do business with, having an innovative culture and high-quality education. Having this superb digital infrastructure across the country means New Zealand can get ahead of other nations and take a slice of the growing digital marketplace.
“We are famous for being clean and green, being strong in agriculture and tourism and having a world champion rugby team. Perhaps we can leverage some of those strengths, use the new infrastructure, and in the future become known for punching above our weight in the global knowledge economy.”
Fibre optic connections top 400,000
IDC’s announcement coincided with one from Statistics New Zealand saying the number of actively used fibre-optic connections in New Zealand had reached 397,000 at 30 June 2017, up 67 percent in 12 months.
“Fibre-optic connections now make up 21 percent of all broadband connections in New Zealand, compared with 12 percent in the June 2016 year,” Statistics NZ said.
“There were 159,000 new connections established in the year ended June 2017, compared with 133,000 in the June 2016 year. This shows the number of people using ultra-fast broadband is growing at a rapid pace.”