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.

Next stop – sub-loop unbundling

January 22, 2008

The casual observer may be wondering what’s going on in the New Zealand telecommunications industry at the moment. In August last year, with great fanfare, a couple of ISPs unveiled the first non-Telecom DSLAMs in a Telecom exchange. Then in November Telecom announced which of its exchanges are going to be “cabinetised” – and the first on the list are those that have just been unbundled. The ISPs cry foul. Are they justified or not?


Growing the ICT industry: can New Zealand be the new Ireland?

December 19, 2007

One of the great success stories of the past decade has been the emergence of Ireland, which has been experiencing one of the highest levels of economic growth in the OECD. In particular, the ICT sector has played a remarkable role in that transformation, despite the limited size of the domestic market.


NGNs: what regulatory challenges lie ahead?

May 22, 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.


A new Olympic sport? The OECD broadband rankings

April 18, 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.


WiMAX vs DSL: examining the case for triple play

March 6, 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).


The secrets of porting success: experiences in MNP

February 13, 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.


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

October 25, 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.


The New Zealand Telecommunications Stocktake: key broadband issues

August 9, 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.