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Telecommunications round up

Paul Brislen, Editor. 18 May 2017, 7:09 am

The country's third placed telco, 2Degrees, continues to go from strength to strength, delivering a net profit for the first time since it launched.

After posting a $33 million loss in 2015, last year saw 2Degrees hit a $13.4 million profit, on earnings of $113 million, an increase of more than 40%.

CEO Stewart Sheriff, quoted in the National Business Review, says he is very pleased with the result.

"I don't think you can find another company, certainly not in New Zealand, with service revenue of over $700 million that managed to increase EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] 43% year-on-year."

On the mobile side, both prepay and contract customer numbers grew steadily, while 2Degrees' fixed line business also growing, albeit from a lower base.

Attention now turns to the rural sector with 2Degrees working with Vodafone and Spark to offer its services in the Rural Broadband Initiative 2 project.

Meanwhile, the country's second placed telco, Vodafone, has reported an increase in customers right across the board. The company's global business suffered during the year, with a reported loss of €6.1billion due to a write down of its investment in Vodafone India. Vodafone's proposed merger with Sky TV locally was knocked back by the regulator, however an appeal is expected to be lodged today.

Good news, however, from the government, with its monthly update on Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) uptake showing the country is getting used to the idea of fibre to the home.

The initial UFB rollout is now nearly three quarters complete with an uptake rate of 33% - ahead of expectations for this point in the deployment. The extension to the UFB has also kicked off with Northpower, the first Local Fibre Company to complete its network deployment, already hard at work in Hikurangi and Hokitika, and aiming to complete deployment by September.


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