“The report shows huge growth in broadband and mobile usage during 2020, with New Zealanders relying more and more on their telecommunications providers as the COVID-19 pandemic forced massive changes in the way all of us learn, earn and live well,” TCF CEO Geoff Thorn commented.
“At the same time, total retail telecommunications revenue fell by 4%, reflecting both the impact of strong ongoing competition on retail prices as well as COVID-related revenue losses in some specialised services such as international mobile roaming.”
The Commerce Commission’s benchmarking analysis shows that prices for the most popular consumer broadband and mobile plans are close to or below the OECD averages, he commented.
New Zealand now ranks 12th in the OECD for broadband download speeds, as more New Zealanders benefit from newer broadband technologies such as fibre and wireless.
Thorn said that while New Zealanders were benefiting from the industry’s multi-billion investments in new networks and technologies, it was important the industry remained sustainable.
“The Commerce Commission report shows the industry has invested $15.7 billion over the past decade, and New Zealanders are relying on telecommunications services more than ever. Yet in that same decade, industry revenue has remained essentially flat, at around $5 billion per year. As an industry, we face an ongoing challenge to achieve the necessary financial returns to invest in even better networks and services for the future.”