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The NZ Telecommunications Forum (TCF) 2018 Annual Report, published today, offers insights into top trends in the telco sector. Most significantly, communications costs for consumers continue to fall, even as demand for services rises exponentially.

 

“Ten years ago, the costs of telecommunications services were double the costs of some other utilities such as electricity” says TCF CEO Geoff Thorn. “Many of our modern services such as high-speed internet and mobile broadband were in their infancy.  As we have better infrastructure in place, the cost of delivering those services has decreased – and those savings are passed on to the consumer.”

 

Data published in the report shows the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of telecommunications services dropped 5 percent between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, and is now lower than all other utilities, including electricity, gas and rates. Internationally, the cost of New Zealand’s broadband plans are 5-15 percent below OECD average; and New Zealand’s mobile calling plans are 27- 47 percent cheaper.

 

“Competition in communications services has meant consumers are getting a great deal from their telco providers” says Thorn.

 

Findings from the report also highlight international trends in complaints data, showing that at an industry level the number of complaints and enquiries per 10,000 connections that the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR) scheme deals with (New Zealand’s telecommunications disputes body) compares extremely favourably to other jurisdictions, and similar utility industries in New Zealand.

 

“We’re pleased the industry compares favourably to the UK, Australia and other industries. We also support increased transparency in the industry and encourage proper analysis into industry complaints and enquiries. Having a better understanding of where the industry can make improvements will contribute to a better consumer experience with telecommunications providers” says Thorn.

 

“Our latest Annual report details a number of industry-wide processes we’ve initiated to improve customer service. We will continue to work with our members to develop key standards and codes of practise that underpin the industry’s contribution to New Zealand’s digital economy.”

 

A copy of the TCF Annual Report 2018 is available at tcf.org.nz