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Published Tuesday 8 Mar 2022


As concerns about the cost of living, rising inflation and affordability of everyday items increases, the cost of telecommunication products and services has fallen consistently year after year.

 

The Statistics NZ Consumer Price Index for December 2021[1] shows housing and household utilities rose by 2.0% versus the same quarter the previous year, while transport rose 3.9%, recreation and cultural items rose by 2.1% and other goods and services rose by 1.7%.

 

Yet during this time the cost of telecommunications equipment and services both fell – services reduced by 1.5% and equipment by 8.3%.

 

“The ongoing pandemic and the situation in Ukraine have conspired to force prices up, while at the same time the demand for telecommunications continues to rocket,” says TCF CEO, Paul Brislen.

 

“The price customers pay for telecommunications is constantly falling and helping to offset the rises in groceries, fuel, rent and almost every other sector Statistics New Zealand monitors.”

 

 

While the cost of telco services is decreasing, mobile broadband use grew by 22% last year while fixed broadband use grew by a whopping 37% year on year.

 

In the mobile sector alone, New Zealanders are well served with products and services aimed at a broad range of customers, from prepay consumers on a budget right through to family groups or fleets of business-grade users.

 

“The competitive landscape has delivered a huge range in terms of choice and pricing and as a result we regularly beat the OECD averages for mobile services,” says Paul.

 

“The industry has invested $15.7 billion[2] over the past decade to increase the reach and capacity of our networks and during lockdown this has proved invaluable, helping to keep the economy pumping at a time when many countries fell into recession.”

 

“The Commerce Commission has indicated it will look at a range of issues over the next 24 months including affordability, and that’s something the industry welcomes. The TCF currently has workstreams already progressing changes to product disclosure and customer transfers. We believe we are well placed to demonstrate world class levels of affordability and the Commission could tick that one off its to-do list.”

 

[1] https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/consumers-price-index-december-2021-quarter

[2] https://www.tcf.org.nz/assets/reports/tcf-annual-report-2021-v10-final-single-pages.pdf