Millions in retail revenue shed by Kiwi telcos

phone, iphone, mobile, mcommerce, samsungNew Zealand telcos have seen a $350 million decline in retail telecommunications’ revenue in the last two years, with telecommunications investment climbing $420 million during the same period.

The Commerce Commission’s recently released 2014 annual telecommunications monitoring report shows the industry saw a $40 million decline in the 2013 to 2014 financial year, with revenue down to $5.17 billion, effectively $350 million short of 2011 to 2012’s peak of $5.52 billion.

The report says surveyed telecommunications industry retail revenues were essentially flat for five years before appearing to pick up in 2011 to 2012. However, the increase was an aberration, with revenue falling in 2012 to 2013 and again in 2013 to 2014.

While there was a small rise in mobile revenues to $2.49 billion, fixed line revenues fell to $2.68 billion.

Meanwhile the UFB fibre network rollout continued to underpin a high level of investment by the telco sector, with last year’s investment of $1.69 billion equaling the previous high set in 2008 to 2009.

The report shows fixed broadband connections continued growing to reach 1.39 million as at June 30, with average data consumed per connection also increasingly strongly to reach 32GB up from 26GB the prior year.

The report notes that according to Akamai, NZ’z average broadband speed in quarter four was 7.3kbps, up from 5.3kpbs a year earlier and 4kbps in the 2011 to 2012 year.

Fixed-line connections were static at 1.85 million, with the report noting that there has been a gradual decline in households getting voice service over their fixed line as retaining the line is usually necessary to consume reasonable quantities of data.

The calling volumes on those fixed lines, however, declined to 8.26 billion minutes, while mobile calling minutes continued to rebound, nearly offsetting the fall in fixed minutes, and reaching a new high of 5.3 billion minutes.

Spark still claims the lion’s share of the fixed-line rental revenues, at 58 per cent, though its share is slowly being eroded. The telco had 80 per cent share in 2005 to 2006 when the reports first began. By 2010 to 2011 that had dropped to 68 per cent.

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