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March 28, 2013

Telecom New Zealand Launches 'Ultra Fibre' Service



By Gary Kim
Contributing Editor



Telecom New Zealand (News - Alert) has launched its new “Ultra Fibre” services to businesses and consumers in New Zealand. The rollout of what Telecom New Zealand calls “ultra fast broadband” is slated to be available to 75 percent of New Zealanders by 2020.

Telecom Ultra Fibre will be available to customers in the Chorus footprint. Chorus is the supplier of wholesale infrastructure services in New Zealand to retailer service providers.

The footprint now covers parts of Auckland, as well as Blenheim, Dunedin, Hastings, Levin, Napier, Nelson, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Rotorua, Timaru and Wellington, as well as Ashburton, Masterton, Taupo and Invercargill – according to Telecom New Zealand.

Residential plans include “UltraFibre 30” plans, with speeds of up to 30Mbps download/up to 10Mbps upload. On an annual contract, prices range from NZ$95 for 50 Gbytes of usage, up to $139 for 150 Gbytes of usage.

Small business plans include the “Business Broadband Ultra Fibre 100” package costing $167.29 monthly (plus taxes) for 200 GBytes of data on a 24-month contract, and featuring 100 Mbps downstream and up to 50 Mbps upstream. 

“Education Broadband Ultra Fibre 30” offers schools speeds of up to 30 Mbps download/up to 30 Mbps upload), costing $129 plus tax and one-year contracts.

“Education Broadband Ultra Fibre 50” offers speeds of up to 50 Mbps download/up to 50 Mbps upload for $159 plus tax, monthly.

Other retailers will be able to set their own prices and policies, but Telecom New Zealand pricing probably will set the “umbrella” for offerings from other Internet service providers.

Vodafone is likely to emerge as Telecom New Zealand’s biggest near-term competitor. Vodafone has market share (after its merger with TelstarClear) of about 25 percent in fixed network services, compared to Telecom New Zealand’s 54-percent market share.

Vodafone actually leads in mobile services, with a 48-percent share, compared to Telecom New Zealand’s 39-percent share. In Internet access services, Telecom New Zealand has 46 percent, while Vodafone has 26 percent.

It is the lead in mobile that might prove important.

In New Zealand, the number of fixed lines per user remained steady from 2006 to 2011. In Europe over the same period, the number of households without fixed lines increased from 18 to 27 percent.

So some might argue that the room for share growth using mobile access (Long Term Evolution) is quite high.

In fact, Vodafone’s LTE service offers speeds twice that of the basic 30 Mbps New Zealand Telecom “Ultra Fibre” service.




Edited by Braden Becker
 
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