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Consumers win as telco battle revs up

Competition among telcos is heating up, the Commerce Commission says, and consumers are getting better and more diverse deals as a result.

Competition among telcos is heating up, the Commerce Commission says, and consumers are getting better and more diverse deals as a result.

In its 2011 telecommunications annual monitoring report analysing the state of New Zealand markets, Telecommunications commissioner Dr Ross Patterson said: “Most notably we’ve seen a fall in market concentration in all sectors which indicates that competition is becoming more intense. Consumers are being offered a more diverse range of competitively priced services, often bundled together in one package."

Although the report focuses on the 2011 year, it also tracks developments in the market since 2006.

“A significant change we’ve seen since our last report is that the consumption of mobile data has doubled in the 2010/11 year."

That increase was accompanied by a "substantial" decrease in the price of mobile data and reflected the growing popularity of mobile devices.

The number of fixed broadband connections is also up, a trend the commission expects to continue.

"Viewed alongside the decrease in revenue for fixed line voice services, the increasing importance of internet connectivity for consumers is clear,” said Patterson.

Other key findings of the report include:

•    revenue from mobile broadband is showing strong growth while mobile voice revenues are starting to decline

•    while the number of fixed line telephone connections is stable, the number of fixed broadband connections continues to grow steadily

•    total retail telecommunications revenues have barely changed over the last six years while investment increased from $0.92 billion in 2008/09 to $1.24 billion in 2010/11

•    the fixed line retail market has falling revenue for most services with only internet revenue rising

•    consumers are happy with the mobile switching experience.