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.

NGNs: what regulatory challenges lie ahead?

22 May 2007

Emerging NGN networks and services represent a fundamental change from the conventional technologies and architectures of the PSTN. Services such as NGN voice telephony reside at a higher network layer, meaning that new services and applications can be defined without considering the underlying transport and network capabilities. Not surprisingly regulators are dispensing with the old rule-books and facing up to a host of new issues.

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A new Olympic sport? The OECD broadband rankings

18 April 2007

With the release on 23 April 2007 of the OECD’s latest table of broadband rankings for December 2006, governments worldwide are quick to put a positive spin on their countries’ uptake of broadband services, even if they didn’t quite achieve the coveted number one ranking. Countries not in the OECD are also using these rankings to assess the performance of their own broadband market.

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WiMAX vs DSL: examining the case for triple play

6 March 2007

With the unbundling of the local loop, and the award of tenders for the last of the 3.5GHz spectrum, opportunities have been created for smaller New Zealand operators and ISPs to offer new services such as triple play bundles (voice, Internet and video).

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The secrets of porting success: experiences in MNP

13 February 2007

Mobile number portability (MNP) is recognised by regulators as a key facilitator for competition. Research conducted by the Singapore regulator in 2005 indicated that 64% of consumers considered it critical to keep their number when switching mobile service providers and a 2005 survey in Canada found that 80% of mobile subscribers want the option to keep their number. Without MNP, consumers are forced to change their number if they change service providers – a fundamental barrier for new entrants trying to capture market share.

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Setting the record straight: Network Strategies’ advice on closing the NZ broadband gap

25 October 2006

It was disappointing to find that in some academic circles there was a complete failure to understand the main thrust of Network Strategies’ work for the Ministry of Economic Development’s Stocktake, which was to uncover what needs to happen for New Zealand broadband penetration to exceed 25% within a reasonable timeframe. In particular we considered how to achieve expanded service rollout and greater bandwidth (and thus stimulate applications and usage) at an acceptable price. While in theory such a takeup may be possible under monopolistic conditions, in practice it is highly unlikely! With no competitive or regulatory pressures to reduce prices, consumers will inevitably lose out.

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The New Zealand Telecommunications Stocktake: key broadband issues

9 August 2006

In June 2005 New Zealand was ranked 22 out of 30 OECD countries in the OECD’s broadband penetration ranking. Despite Telecom achieving broadband rollout targets and lowering prices significantly in the intervening period, the December 2005 ranking had not changed. Why so? Simply put, New Zealand’s affordable entry level broadband packages have very limited capability and little appeal to many potential customers – partly due to the lack of competition in the New Zealand broadband market.

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NGNs and the future of regulated voice services

19 April 2006

As Next Generation Network (NGN) technologies and services begin to replace conventional telecommunications infrastructure, regulators around the world are recognising the need to review and adapt policies and processes accordingly. One of the key regulatory issues that arises from the introduction of NGN is the rapid replacement of PSTN voice services with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

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Why is New Zealand doing so badly in the OECD broadband penetration rankings?

25 January 2006

So Telecom New Zealand thinks that New Zealand’s lowly position (22 out of 30 countries) in the June 2005 OECD broadband penetration rankings is due to the existence of free local calling? “Free” local calling exists in Canada and the United States but it has not hindered broadband uptake there. More neutral parties including the New Zealand Communications Minister, the OECD and the president of InternetNZ agree that the real reason for New Zealand’s position in the ranking is high prices.

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Regulation in a convergent future: numbering and number portability

19 December 2005

Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) raises a number of important questions for regulators with respect to both numbering plans and number portability. The fundamental issue is that the market will not work effectively if consumers in a converged world are not able to move seamlessly from one service provider to another.

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