New Zealand households and businesses spent more on their mobiles than they did on both fixed voice and broadband combined in 2011, according to IDC in its latest Telecommunications tracker report. The research firm says mobile revenues grew 10 percent over 2010, outstripping growth in fixed broadband of 4 percent and countering a decline in fixed voice of 5 percent over the same period.
Mobile continues to be an increasingly important element of communication; not only in New Zealanders' lives but also in a telecommunication operators search for revenue growth, says IDC.
The report finds 2Degrees continued to make inroads into its competitors’ customer base gaining market share in terms of connections, while both Vodafone and Telecom recorded a decline. However, the growth for 2Degrees has largely been confined to the lower revenue, pre-paid market, as gains in connection share have been significantly stronger than gains in revenue.
Glen Saunders, IDC senior analyst, says last year was marked by a significant industry change that set the scene for more rapid and complex developments that will impact customer mobile purchasing decisions and usage over the next 12 to 18 months. “As we enter the UFB world the role of mobile will change and IDC is expecting convergence of the fixed and mobile worlds to be the result."
The growth in mobile is linked to the increasing diversity in the way Kiwis connect.
The Q4 2011 marked the first quarter mobile voice calls accounted for less than 50 percent of all mobile revenues. Fuelled by increasing smart device penetration and a wider array of available mobile applications, mobile data is providing strong growth for operators.
"This is a significant point in the market's development that is being driven by affordable smartphones, better value from all mobile companies and of course a change in the way Kiwis now do things, with more and more being done on mobile screens," says Saunders.
As operators attempt to move with the shifting market, competition is increasing in the mobile space, helping to fuel further growth with a greater variety of services and devices.
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