Mobile retail competition strong, says Commerce Commission

Retail competition has become more established in New Zealand’s mobile market since 2degrees launched in 2009, according to the Commerce Commission’s preliminary report into the sector.

“Our preliminary view is that competition in the retail mobile market has become more established with three independent, national network-based competitors,” the report said.

“This has resulted in mobile consumers benefiting from an increasingly competitive market environment.”

According to the Commission, Vodafone is the country’s largest mobile provider, servicing 40.5 per cent of the market. Spark holds 37.9 per cent of the market, while 2degrees services 20.5 per cent.

While New Zealand customers are on average satisfied with their mobile plans, lower average data usage in New Zealand compared to international counterparts has led to “relatively high prices”.

“Based on our analysis of the performance of the retail mobile market in New Zealand, there does not appear to be a strong case for regulatory intervention to facilitate a fourth [mobile network operator] to enter the New Zealand market,” the report said.

Spark general manager for regulation John Wesley Smith welcomed the report, stating that it reflects what the providers see and experience in the market.

“Competition is working well, and we need to continually work to provide great value and innovative solutions for our customers,” Smith said.

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