Consumers Ready for Fixed Voice Alternatives But Are Vendors Ready to Supply?
In June 2016, the New Zealand Commerce Commission announced its intention to review regulation on Spark's resale voice services. In its draft report published in September 2016, the Commission recommended that the service be deregulated. This IDC update examines the case to deregulate Spark's resale voice services based on the draft report and the subsequent submissions received from the industry.Spark's resale voice services allow retail service providers (RSPs) to provide fixed phone products, including local access and calling, to their customers without needing to invest in physical infrastructure. The services have been regulated in the Telecommunications Act since 2001. The resale voice services have always been provided commercially by Spark Wholesale (previously Telecom New Zealand) so the recommended change would simply remove the regulatory backstop. Questions to consider are:Is there enough competition in the voice services market to deliver competitive retail prices and innovation to the consumer?What are the consumer trends regarding the use of voice services?How will the removal of the regulatory backstop impact larger versus smaller RSPs?Will key competitors have the capability to manage mass migrations?
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