Industry comment

In the rapidly evolving telecoms environment, all players must be prepared for the challenges brought by constant change. Our consultants offer an expert perspective on the issues that confront the telecoms industry.

The urban-rural digital divide: can 5G close the gap?

6 March 2018

By the end of the Ultra-Fast Broadband Extension (UFB2) in 2022, 87% of New Zealand homes and businesses are expected to have access to fibre-based broadband. However, for the remaining 13% of homes in rural New Zealand the luxury of tapping in to an unlimited ultra-high speed data pipe will be out of reach, or come at a significantly higher cost.


The case for private LTE networks

10 July 2017

An increasing number of enterprises, especially in vertical industries such as utilities and transportation, consider replacing their mission critical or corporate communications infrastructure with an LTE network. This trend is driven by the need for more mobility, bandwidth, flexibility of coverage and multiple classes of services. In recent years, private LTE networks have been successfully deployed in many sectors including public protection and disaster relief (PPDR), energy, maritime and railway transportation.


Unlocking the “lock-in” RAB regulation

8 July 2014

Globally regulators use different approaches to impel monopolies towards greater efficiency and fairer prices. Regulatory asset base (RAB) is one such approach which is being increasingly used for regulating infrastructure based industries/sectors. Though its use is relatively new in telecommunications, it has been used for a long time in other sectors including electricity transmission and distribution, gas transmission and distribution, water and sewerage, railways, aviation and postal services.


Pulling the plug on electricity price regulation

8 April 2014

Regulation aims to balance obligations to both customers and providers. However there are other factors (apart from regulation) that can influence electricity prices. These include changes in demand, generation and legislation. Some countries (such as Estonia, Latvia and Ireland) are abandoning regulation and determining prices based on demand and supply only (with tax regulation). This is due to the preference of regulators for open electricity markets as they believe price regulation can distort the operation of the electricity sector and is a risk to security of supply. However this emerging trend is very slow and it is unlikely that electricity price regulation will be eliminated in the near future.


Crossing lines: how much information should monopolies disclose?

11 February 2014

In the 2013 Telecommunications Review discussion paper, the New Zealand Government considered that Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) policy objectives were unlikely to be met without early intervention to prevent reductions in copper wholesale pricing. Specifically the Government feared that Chorus, the largest local fibre company (LFC), would be hard pressed to meet its fibre rollout commitments with the reduction in copper access revenues implied by recent Commerce Commission decisions on unbundled bitstream access and unbundled copper local loop access services. Although Chorus is a private company, Government has made a substantial financial investment in the UFB project and so the ability of Chorus to deliver on its contract is of public concern.


The Smartgrid: powering socio-economic growth

28 January 2014

The deployment of smart grids by electric utilities worldwide has provided significant benefits to the utilities as well as to the wider communities. Through the ability to deploy fibre alongside their existing networks, and vast experience in the deployment and operation of infrastructure, utilities are able to enter the telecommunications market with ease and compete fiercely with existing operators. It is therefore unsurprising that many telcos have legally challenged such utilities in an attempt to stamp out or delay competition.


Gigatown: New Zealand towns race to a fibre future

13 January 2014

A 2013 Ericsson study found that doubling the speed of broadband can contribute 0.3% to GDP growth in an economy. The study notes that the benefits of faster broadband can be derived from a number of factors including increased productivity, innovation, increased and better access to services and healthcare, and environmental effects including more efficient energy consumption. With the deployment of ultra-fast fibre broadband in New Zealand we can expect to see similar socio-economic benefits being realised locally. Network Strategies’ study for the Wellington Regional Council found that fibre services offer the potential for transformative change in business processes and models.