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New Zealand - Telecommunications Regulatory Overview

New Zealand - Telecommunications Regulatory Overview

The 2001 Telecommunications Act set out the regulatory changes for the telecommunications industry which have since been a central pillar of the market landscape. There have been numerous amendments to the legislation since then, in an effort to create a dynamic level-playing field for operators, and to provide enhanced services for customers. Regulatory developments have occurred in the areas of fixed lines, the mobile sector (mobile number portability, spectrum auctions, mobile access pricing and termination rates), and wholesale access pricing. In December 2014 the regulator made a draft decision which allowed Chorus to increase the wholesale charges for some copper-based services. In addition the Telecommunication Development Levy, which runs to FY2016, has set aside many millions of dollars for infrastructure projects.

The incumbent telco Telecom New Zealand, rebranded as Spark in August 2014, was split into separate components late 2011 so that the fibre network could be deployed by the demerged network access entity Chorus. The Ultra-Fast Broadband Network (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) will eventually see fast broadband deployed across the country.

This report outlines recent regulatory developments in the New Zealand telecom market, and includes developments on Telecommunications Service Obligations (TSOs) and the Telecommunications Relay Service. It also provides an update on the Telecommunication Development Levy which is part-funding the Rural Broadband Initiative. The report also reviews the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution, as also the 700MHZ spectrum auction.

Background information on previous regulatory developments on these and others issues can be found in our separate reports.

Key developments:

Number portability, regulatory issues, spectrum, digital dividend, digital switchover, recent market developments.

Companies covered in this report include:

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

1. Synopsis
2. History
3. UBA, UCLL, LLU and UBS access market developments
3.1 Determination on wholesale services
3.2 Minor changes post Spark and Chorus demerger
4. Mobile regulation developments
4.1 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
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 Analogue Switchover (ASO)
6. Telecommunications Service Obligations (Kiwi Share)
6.1 Background
6.2 Telecommunications Development Levy 2010 - 2017
6.3 TDL changes
7. Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
7.1 Overview
7.2 Cost of the TRS
8. Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR)
8.1 Scheme overview
9. Number Portability (NP)
9.1 Overview
9.2 Statistics
10. Related reports
Table 1 Regulated UCLL and UBA pricing 2014
Table 2 Spark and Vodafone network termination rates (Cents per minute) 2011 - 2014
Exhibit 5 Anticipated ASO timetable
Table 3 Annual cost of TDL 2010 - 2017
Table 4 Sprint payments from TRS/TSO 2004 - 2014
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

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