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New Zealand - Telecommunications Regulatory Overview

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Regulatory changes to the telecommunications industry have become a part of the market landscape since the Telecommunications Act was passed back in 2001. There have been many amendments to the bill in an effort to assist the market to become a dynamic level-playing field for the operators and provide enhanced services for customers. Regulatory developments have occurred in the areas of fixed lines, mobile, frequency spectrum and wholesale access.

Regulatory changes over the years have covered fixed and mobile number portability, spectrum auctions, mobile access pricing and termination rates, and the Telecommunication Development Levy, a replacement on the previous Telecommunications Service Obligation.

In late 2011 Telecom New Zealand, the incumbent operator, was split so as the fibre network could be deployed by the demerged network access entity Chorus. The Ultra-Fast Broadband Network (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) that will eventually see fast broadband deployed across the countryside.

In this report we outline recent key regulatory developments in the New Zealand telecommunications market and including developments on the TSO and Telecommunications Relay Service. Information on the Telecommunication Development Levy that will fund some of the outlay for Rural Broadband Initiative is provided. An overview of the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution is also provided. Information on the proposed 700MHZ spectrum DSO and auctions is also provided.

Key developments:

Number portability, regulatory issues, spectrum, digital dividend, digital switchover.

Companies covered in this report include:

Vodafone, 2degrees, Telecom, CallPlus, Hautaki Ltd, TelstraClear, Chorus, Orcon, Compass Communications, WorldxChange.

1. Synopsis
2. History
3. UBA, UCLL, LLU and UBS access market developments
3.1 Draft determination on wholesale services – late 2012
3.2 Minor changes post Telecom and Chorus demerger
4. Mobile regulation developments
4.1 Mobile termination rates
4.2 Micropayments using PayforitNZ approved
5. Spectrum market
5.1 Background information
5.2 Spectrum and auctions
5.2.1 Introduction
5.2.2 Management Rights Regime
5.2.3 3G Spectrum reviewed
5.3 Digital Switchover (DSO)
6. Telecommunications Service Obligations (Kiwi Share)
6.1 Background
6.2 Telecommunications Development Levy – 2010 - 2017
6.3 TDL changes – 2012
7. Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
7.1 Overview
7.2 New services in 2011
7.3 Cost of the TSR
8. Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR)
8.1 Scheme overview
9. Number Portability (NP)
9.1 Overview
9.2 Statistics
10. Related reports
Table 1 – Telecom and Vodafone network termination rates – 2009 - 2014
Exhibit 5 – Anticipated DSO timetable
Table 2 – Annual cost of TDL – 2010 - 2017
Table 3 – TDL qualified revenue and TDL charges – 2010 - 2011
Table 4 – Sprint payments from TRS/TSO – 2004 - 2011
Table 5 – Total ported numbers mobile versus fixed – 2009 - 2012
Table 6 – Total ported numbers mobile versus fixed – 2009 - 2012
Chart 1 – Sprint payments from TRS/TSO – 2004 - 2011
Chart 2 – Overview of fixed versus mobile ported numbers – 2009 - 2012
Chart 3 – Overview of monthly porting of local and mobile numbers – 2008 - 2012
Exhibit 1 – UBA services background information
Exhibit 2 – Regulatory timeline – scheduled UBA and other services launch by service variant
Exhibit 3 – Overview of licensed versus unlicensed spectrum
Exhibit 4 – Overview of managed spectrum parks
Exhibit 6 – Liable people (operators) for the TDL levy – 2012
Exhibit 7 – Possible liable people (operators) for the TDL levy – 2012

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