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Telecommunications monitoring report: Are you being served?
Posted on 24-May-2017 11:54Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

There’s an untold story behind the 2017 Commerce Commission telecommunications monitoring report. Before we get to that, edited highlights from the official media release: Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale says: “The cost of internet use has dropped over the last year with up to four times the data included at the same price points. 100GB in […] Comments (Comments)

Terabyte looms as Vocus users download 430GB a month
Posted on 19-May-2017 14:51Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Vocus says its fibre broadband customers with unlimited data plans now download an average1 of 430GB a month. The average for all Vocus fibre customers is 425GB. With data use doubling every 12 to 18 months, a terabyte monthly average is in sight. Taryn Hamilton, Vocus Group’s general manager of consumer for Orcon and Slingshot […] Comments (Comments)

2degrees tips into profit after seven lean years
Posted on 19-May-2017 09:47Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

It’s taken seven years, but 2degrees is making money for its shareholders. The company says it made a profit of $13.4 million in 2016. That compares with a loss of $33.1 million a year earlier. Revenue was a shade over $700 million. Fuelling that growth is a fast rise in post-paid mobile customers. That means […] Comments (Comments)

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus review: Beautiful, feature-packed
Posted on 16-May-2017 20:14Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Samsung needs a hit phone after the Note 7 debacle. The Galaxy S8 Plus could fit the bill. It is an elegant, slim, feature-packed slab of glass and metal. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus at a glance For: Looks great, feels great Well made, Feature packed. Against: Fixed battery, Fingerprint scanner position, Android 7.0, not 7.1, […] Comments (Comments)

After ten years of mail pain Spark is done with Yahoo
Posted on 15-May-2017 13:12Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Spark pitches the move from Yahoo to SMX mail as bringing mail home to New Zealand. While that is clever marketing communications, it doesn’t begin to the tell the whole gory story of the company’s unhappy relationship with Yahoo. Those with long memories may recall Spark moved its mail to Yahoo in 2007. At the […] Comments (Comments)

Passive Optical Lan means fibre to the desktop
Posted on 12-May-2017 17:09Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Chorus held a Tech-Week event introducing Passive Optical Lan technology at its Auckland laboratory. Thanks to the government-sponsored UFB roll-out most New Zealand businesses are now on the fibre network. Fibre delivers gigabit internet to offices, factories and other business buildings. It means better, more reliable communications. Done well, fibre delivers productivity gains. In business, […] Comments (Comments)

Windows 10S — Microsoft tries locking down again
Posted on 8-May-2017 15:19Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

At first sight Microsoft’s Surface Laptop and Windows 10S launch is all about education. That was the company’s emphasis at the product roll-out in New York. Yet there is more at stake here than putting computers in school bags. The announcement outlines a strategy for the stage of personal computing. If Microsoft pulls this off, […] Comments (Comments)

Ten things we've learnt about this year's phones
Posted on 23-Apr-2017 13:10Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Phone designers are running out of options. This year’s phones show less innovation than in years past.   Samsung’s Galaxy S8 goes on sale this week. The early 2017 phone picture is now complete. We now know what the mainstream phone market will look like until Apple reveals its iPhone plans. Here are ten things […] Comments (Comments)

Xero joins Silicon Valley elite as TCV invests
Posted on 20-Apr-2017 11:37Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Xero has moved one step closer to becoming New Zealand’s first global technology giant. Last week TCV, a Silicon Valley investment firm, bought 1.4 million Xero shares from Matrix Capital Management. The deal was worth NZ$28.5 million. That’s a little over one percent of the company. Few people in New Zealand will have heard of […] The post Xero joins Silicon Valley elite as TCV invests appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Huawei P10 review: A steady-as-you-go upgrade
Posted on 17-Apr-2017 12:36Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

An incremental update of last year’s P9. The Huawei P10 contains few surprises.  Huawei P10 at a glance For: Camera app well matched with hardware. Solid performance. Against: Dreary  software overlay. Expensive. So-so battery life. Maybe: Attractive, although the style more than pays homage to iPhone 6. Fingerprint scanner. Verdict: Only worth considering if you’re upgrading […] The post Huawei P10 review: A steady-as-you-go upgrade appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Don Christie says global IT giants all take, no give with New Zealand
Posted on 13-Apr-2017 17:44Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Don Christie writes in the New Zealand Herald Global IT companies are taking profit here and putting nothing back: An organisation I co-chair, NZRise, has been looking at the problem. We represent New Zealand owned digital companies who generate jobs and good incomes for tens of thousands of Kiwis. Our research shows Facebook, Google, Amazon […] The post Don Christie says global IT giants all take, no give with New Zealand appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Spark, 2degrees unlimited mobile data plans reveal 4G limits
Posted on 12-Apr-2017 09:26Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

2degrees offers what it calls an unlimited mobile data plan. Unlimited in this context doesn’t mean no limits. The plan has restrictions. Unlimited mobile data only applies to a single device. That usually means a phone. Users can’t tether their laptops or tablets to the device. Nor can they use their device as a Wi-Fi […] The post Spark, 2degrees unlimited mobile data plans reveal 4G limits appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

2degrees Data Clock sells bytes by the hour
Posted on 10-Apr-2017 13:04Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Mobile carrier 2degrees now sells data in time blocks as well as by the gigabyte. Data Clock is an app for pre-pay customers to manage time-based data purchases. Data Clock allows prepay customers to buy five minutes of data for 50 cents. Ten minutes cost 60 cents. An hour is $1.50. Customers can buy 12 […] The post 2degrees Data Clock sells bytes by the hour appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Agile Spark responds to 2degrees with unlimited mobile plan clarity
Posted on 7-Apr-2017 13:07Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

It took Spark two days to respond to 2degrees’ all-you-can-eat mobile plan. That’s agile for a large company. There was a time when it would take months to get a counter offer like Freedom Mobile out the door. From Easter Spark and Skinny customers can buy plans with unlimited voice and texting as well as […] The post Agile Spark responds to 2degrees with unlimited mobile plan clarity appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Rural broadband extension bids: Your guide to the RBI2 runners and riders
Posted on 6-Apr-2017 18:54Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Crown Fibre Holdings’ Rural Broadband Initiative and Mobile Black Spot request for proposal closed on Monday.  That’s RBI2 to the rest of us. At stake is $150 million of money funded by the Telecommunications Development Levy. Of that, $100 million is to finance high-speed broadband. It needs to reach to the last 15 percent of […] The post Rural broadband extension bids: Your guide to the RBI2 runners and riders appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

2degrees offers trial unmetered mobile phone data
Posted on 4-Apr-2017 18:19Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

You can’t share it. You can’t tether. There are conditions. But you can download as much 2degrees mobile data as you need on your phone without worrying about the bill. Mobile carrier 2degrees offers what it describes as New Zealand’s first unlimited mobile data plan. For $129 a month customers get to fill their boots […] The post 2degrees offers trial unmetered mobile phone data appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Net neutrality in New Zealand
Posted on 16-Mar-2017 15:04Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Net neutrality is controversial in the US. It is not an issue in New Zealand. As telecommunications and media companies get closer, it is time to take another look. What is net neutrality, why does it matter elsewhere and how might it move onto the agenda in New Zealand? Net neutrality says internet companies can’t […] The post Net neutrality in New Zealand appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Commerce Commission pushes for congestion-free copper
Posted on 16-Mar-2017 10:27Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Commerce Commission rules mean Chorus must keep its copper network congestion free. The Commission says it doesn’t want service quality to fall as traffic volumes grow. It says links between Chorus dslams and the first upstream data switch must not go higher than 95 percent of capacity for more than five minutes. Chorus must […] The post Commerce Commission pushes for congestion-free copper appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Call for truth in broadband advertising
Posted on 15-Mar-2017 17:10Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

“Australia’s equivalent of the NZ Commerce Commission, the ACCC, found that a whopping 80 percent of Australian consumers struggle to compare the broadband speeds of different ISPs…” — James Young-Drew New Zealand’s consumer laws are almost identical to Australia’s, so an ACCC report on broadband speed claims has relevance here. James Young-Drew, a solicitor with […] The post Call for truth in broadband advertising appeared first on Bill Bennett. Comments (Comments)

Call for truth in broadband advertising
Posted on 15-Mar-2017 07:48Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

“Australia’s equivalent of the NZ Commerce Commission, the ACCC, found that a whopping 80 percent of Australian consumers struggle to compare the broadband speeds of different ISPs…” — James Young-Drew New Zealand’s consumer laws are almost identical to Australia’s, so an ACCC report on broadband speed claims has relevance here. James Young-Drew, a solicitor with […] Comments (Comments)

Kacific satellite goes where other broadband can’t
Posted on 14-Mar-2017 12:59Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

If you think wireless latency is bad, wait until you try satellite. Patrick Smellie writes for BusinessDesk: The Pacific Islands, remote parts of rural New Zealand and poor but populous parts of eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are target markets for a new satellite-based project that its backers say will bring low-cost, ultra-fast broadband […] Comments (Comments)

Samsung woes see Apple regain NZ phone crown
Posted on 14-Mar-2017 11:56Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple sold more phones than any other company in the last quarter of 2016. IDC says it is the first time Apple was New Zealand’s top selling phone brand since early 2012. During the quarter phone sales hit a record high. Some 672,000 phones shipped1 between October and December 2016. That’s up from 614,000 a […] Comments (Comments)

Fixed wireless laggard in independent broadband test
Posted on 13-Mar-2017 10:45Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Zealand fixed wireless broadband speeds are on a par with ADSL services delivered over copper lines. In tests broadband monitoring firm TrueNet found fixed wireless is: “considerably slower than VDSL and far behind fibre”. High latency TrueNet says fixed wireless services slow more than other technologies at busy times. This is because customers jostle […] Comments (Comments)

Review: Huawei Mate 9 Pro
Posted on 9-Mar-2017 17:34Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

For now, Huawei’s most expensive phone to date is also the best Android phone you can buy. Huawei Mate 9 Pro at a glance For: Second generation Leica dual camera, Fast processor, Battery life Against: Not waterproof, Software glitches, Expensive Maybe: Improved EMUI Android overlay Verdict: Classy Android serving notice of Huawei’s ambition to lead […] Comments (Comments)

Journalists too mean to tech companies
Posted on 5-Mar-2017 08:42Tags Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

At The Register Shaun Nichols writes: “The tech press has dared to lean away from its core mission of making technology companies more profitable, says tech advocacy house ITIF.” The ITIF or Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is an industry think-tank. It issued a report looking at “a change of tone in technology reporting” between […] Comments (Comments)


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