New Zealand Telecoms Market

New Zealand telecoms market tipped to slow next year ahead of a surge in 2009

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New Zealand telecoms market tipped to slow next year ahead of a surge in 2009

Sydney, Australia, 6 December 2007 — After modest growth of 1.1% last financial year, New Zealand's telecoms market is set to slow further with revenues expected to increase less than 1% for 2007-08, a new report from independent researcher BuddeComm forecasts.

According to 2008 New Zealand – Telecoms Overview and Analysis, the biggest culprit for the slow-down is fixed voice, with revenues tipped to fall 4% next financial year, which comes on top of the 2% drop for 2006-07.

"As phone call prices and volumes continue to slip, more people will give up their traditional home phone line and move to alternative access networks, such as mobile and Voice over IP, as well as products using data and IP-based solutions," says the New Zealand report's author, Phil Harpur.

Interestingly, revenue from mobiles is expected to pick up, jumping 3.2% in the coming financial year, following a paltry 0.4% lift this year. This was despite unusually high growth of 11.6% in subscribers for 2006-07. Growth in subscribers, though, is forecast to fall sharply next year to 2.9% and 2.3% the year after. "The local mobile market is approaching saturation," Harpur says.

According to a second BuddeComm report newly released, 2008 New Zealand – Mobile & Broadband Overview and Analysis, mobile voice is becoming simply another commodity service, which will pressure the duopoly of Vodafone and Telecom to lower their high mobile rates.

While growth is expected to be flat over the next 12 months, the telecoms market is forecast to pick up in 2008-09, with market revenue anticipated to surge by 2.8 percent. This will primarily be driven by data, internet and value-added services and pay TV.

"Over time, the new environment will open up lots of new opportunities for everybody involved," says Harpur. "Value-added infrastructure opportunities such as data centres, content hosting and network management are just a few examples. But equally a range of innovative customer services can be built on the new wholesale products, and open networks will create an exciting new environment for digital media, e-health, tele-education and smart grid applications."

The BuddeComm reports predict that data, internet and value-added services will be the main market drivers, with growth of 8% for the 2008-09 financial year. This follows more modest rises of 4.2% this financial year and 2.5% next year.

The bundling of voice, data and video services (triple play) and mobile services (quadruple play) are likely to take off in 2008 and 2009. As well, New Zealand is conducting WiMAX trials, although there are delays in a full rollout of the wireless system. CallPlus is one operator considering the technology.

In addition, the introduction of ADSL2+ services will increasingly deliver, in time, VoIP and IPTV and a host of other digital media services. When Telecom's next-generation network is completed by 2012, the carrier is expected deliver a range of services including VoIP, video calling, converged fixed-mobile offerings, interactive television and Video on Demand.

"New Zealand's broadband penetration is finally catching up to the rest of the world, with overall subscriber growth more than 30% in 2006/07," says Harpur.

BuddeComm has also released its annual telecoms report on the South Pacific. According to the report, the number of Pacific Islanders with a telecom services remains low – less than half have a phone – although mobile and internet penetration is improving on the larger islands, such as Fiji, PNG and Guam.

Mobile telephony is expected to outpace fixed-line connections, while satellite, wireless and fixed-line broadband as well as WiMAX and high-speed ADSL2+ are increasingly finding toeholds in island markets across the South Pacific.

Cost of 2008 New Zealand – Telecoms Overview and Analysis is $795, 2008 New Zealand – Mobile & Broadband Overview and Analysis is $695; and 2007 South Pacific Islands – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband is $595. All prices exclude GST and are for a PDF with a single user licence. Prices available on request for multi user licence and hardcopy.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see:

About BuddeComm

BuddeComm is an independent global telecommunications research and consultancy company, specialising in new media, with 45 researchers spread across 15 countries. The company publishes more than 100 research reports each year analysing global communications markets, trends and business opportunities.

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Paul Budde

New Zealand