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.

Affordability of mobile services hampered by quasi-monopolies in the Pacific

March 12, 2013

Around the world substantial increases in the accessibility and affordability of mobile technologies have been achieved through efficient and effective market competition. Increasingly evidence indicates that access to information communication technologies, and in particular mobile services, has a significant impact on economic growth. As a result increasing mobile penetration, affordability and therefore use is becoming important to growth and poverty reduction strategies for development.

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International bandwidth for New Zealand: the future without an alternative fibre link

February 12, 2013

Back in early 2010, industry and consumers welcomed the announcement of a new project that would end the monopoly of Southern Cross Cable, bringing better and cheaper Internet for all New Zealanders. A number of successful entrepreneurs, including Sam Morgan, Rod Drury, and Sir Stephen Tindall among others, had embarked on an ambitious project (“Pacific Fibre”) aiming to build a new generation trans-Pacific subsea fibre optic cable linking Australia, New Zealand and the US. This venture proposed to address the future traffic demand by removing the international capacity bottleneck, and finally bringing substantial benefits for consumers, through reductions in retail prices and more generous data caps.

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The world of convergence – services, devices, networks and sectors

January 29, 2013

Convergence has become a pervasive trend with the advent of new technologies, enabling “anytime, anywhere” access to resources. It has redefined “communication” by combining telecommunications and broadcasting sectors and offering multiple services using a single device over a single network. For example, today “watching TV”, “accessing emails” and “phone calling” can all be performed on an IP network (instead of traditionally separate networks) using a single device (like a smartphone).

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Trans-Tasman data wars

December 4, 2012

Following our friendly trans-Tasman comparisons of prepaid offerings for mobile voice and SMS, we have now turned our attention to mobile data. We have compared local costs for mobile broadband designed for use on a laptop or tablet, and for Internet access via a mobile handset between NZ and Australia, and found that New Zealand customers suffer with pitiful data caps for mobile broadband, whereas Australian customers who want to roam to New Zealand with their mobile handset and use data may be in for a shock when the bill comes in.

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Mobile data offloading: dealing with the mobile data traffic boom

July 10, 2012

Mobile data traffic has grown enormously over the last few years, and several industry reports predict that this trend will continue. According to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index published in February 2012, around the world mobile data traffic grew 2.3-fold in 2011, more than doubling for the fourth year in a row, and it will increase 18-fold between 2011 and 2016.

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Landmark Australian case creates uncertainty for cloud based services

May 8, 2012

The ongoing struggle of copyright holders against new technologies has been highlighted in a landmark Australian case. While the dispute is expected to reach the High Court, a recent Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (the FCAFC) decision has provided considerable legal uncertainty for providers of cloud based services. Although the decision is a victory for rights holders, the rest of the audience may struggle in differentiating between “traditional” technologies such as VCRs (video cassette recorders) or DVRs (digital video recorders) and the purpose of the cloud based service in question, the decision being predicated upon the nature of the technology used instead of the intended purpose of the action.

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Convergence: regulating a “unified communications” market in New Zealand

December 6, 2011

Fast broadband connections have paved the way for broadcasters and telecommunications service providers to enter into each others’ markets internationally. As a result, a 2006 OECD report stated that the telecommunications industry was facing an identity crisis. The bundling of various communications services is becoming increasingly popular. Multi-service offerings may include dual play, triple-play or even quadruple-play bundled offerings. Many countries have responded by merging their broadcasting and telecommunications regulators. With UFB now in New Zealand, a hot topic is whether it should also follow this worldwide trend.

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The “iPod tax”: putting a price on piracy

December 14, 2010

On 14 December 2010, the Federal Government of Canada announced that it would not be introducing an amendment to the Copyright Act creating a so-called “iPod Tax”. This was in light of a private member’s bill introduced into Parliament by Charlie Angus on 2 June 2010. The bill suggested legally expanding the current copyright levy to include digital recording devices, essentially putting a price on piracy.

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