New Zealand Telecoms Industry Report – 2022-2027


This report provides analyses of revenue and market forecasts as well as statistics of the New Zealand telecoms industry including market sizing, 5-year forecasts, market insights, key telecom trends, 5G, digital infrastructure and also features the following:

  • Overall Telecommunications Market by Major Operators
  • Telco Operators Profile, Revenue and EBITDA Mix
  • Mobile Subscribers & Revenue Market Overview and Forecasts
  • Spectrum Holdings
  • IoT Market Overview
  • Broadband Subscribers & Revenue Market Overview and Forecasts
  • Digital Infrastructure (Fibre, Telecom Towers, Data Centres, Submarine Cables)
  • National Broadband Network Detailed Market Overview and Forecasts
  • Telecom Tower Market Analysis and Forecast
  • Thematics / Opportunities relating to 5G, M&A and e-Commerce
  • Telco M&A Transaction Database

About this report:
3rd Edition
Pages: 79
Author: Landry Fevre
Publication Date: May 2022
License: Single User PDF




  • Benefit from the latest market opportunities
  • Understand the threats to your operations and investments and protect your company against future risks
  • Gain insight on emerging trends that could support, strengthen or disrupt your activities in the market
  • Get a full view of the competitive landscape to assess your market position.
  • Forecasts as a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the telecoms market
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the telecoms sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Operators Profiles

The New Zealand Telecommunications Industry Report, 2022-2027 includes a comprehensive review of the New Zealand market dynamics, market sizing, market forecasts, analysis, insights and key trends.


New Zealand Telecoms Industry Report at a Glance

The New Zealand telecommunications industry is a stable mobile market with 3 network operators, a nationwide full-fibre wholesale broadband network and the overall market underpinned by strong economic fundamentals.

Key developments covered in the New Zealand Telecoms Industry Report:

  • Merger of 2Degrees and Orcon (Vocus NZ)
  • Acquisition of Trustpower retail customer base by Mercury
  • Divestments of passive tower infrastructure by both Spark and Vodafone underway
  • UFB project nearly complete and delivering word class broadband speeds nationwide

Idem Est Research forecasts that mobile subscriptions will continue to grow in the 2022-27 period and fixed broadband subscribers will also continue to grow and increase its household penetration over the same period. The ratio of the telecommunications sector revenue to GDP is declining from a peak in 2005, sliding down every year since then.

Idem Est Research forecasts 5G mobile subscribers will represent nearly 64% of all subscriptions by 2027, 4G will represent about 34% of all connections while 2G and 3G will account for the remainder, if not switched off earlier.

Mobile subscribers numbers and revenue are growing strongly and the back of population growth and the market shift to postpaid.

Idem Est Research expects the overall telecoms market to grow through to 2027 after a marked slow down in 2019 and 2020 due to legacy voice revenue pressure partially offset by mobile data growth and COVID travel restrictions.

Capex Investments
The Capex to GDP ratio remained relatively stable between 2015 and 2019, its now decreasing  and is expected to remain at the same level through to 2027. Idem Est Research estimates that the ratio will settle back by 2023 peaking in 2019. Chorus is still investing heavily in fibre infrastructure until 2022 while Spark and Vodafone have more conservative investment profiles.

Mobile Subscribers and Revenue
Over the last five years, the market shifted to postpaid as subscribers move to Pay Monthly offerings (SIM-only plans) with increased data allowances. Overall, the number of prepaid subscribers continued to decrease slightly. Mobile network operators are facing competitive pressure with the market shifting to unlimited voice and text and data allowance increasingly becoming the sole offering differentiator.

According to our benchmark study of mobile data pricing, India has the lowest rate per GB at just a few cents per GB, while Australia and China had the biggest cost reduction per GB mostly due to increased data allowance in plans while Singapore remains expensive. New Zealand has the highest pricing per GB and Kiwis downloaded the least amount of data over their mobile phones.

Broadband Subscribers – FTTH Push and Fixed Wireless
The Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative is a New Zealand Government program of building fibre-to-the-home networks covering 87% of the population by the end of 2022, FTTP will be deployed to 1.8 million households and businesses in 412 cities and towns. It is a public-private partnership of the government with four companies with a total government investment of NZ$1.7 billion.

The broadband market is now experiencing low growth mostly driven by new premises construction in greenfield developments or urban redevelopments. The UFB government project reached over 1.7m premises and connected 63% of them or 1.1m premises. 

Households growth and a reduction of the number of underserved premises, previously not able to connect now served by UFB2, will drive up the fixed-broadband subscribers. 

ThematicsTelecoms Infrastructure / 5G / M&A / Infrastructure
Infrastructure funds, pension funds and government funds are assigning high valuation multiples to telecommunications infrastructure assets such as mobile towers, data centres, submarine cable and fibre infrastructure. 

In 2019, Morrisson & Co (Infratil) and Brookfield, both infrastructure funds, bought Vodafone NZ for NZ$3.4 billion (EV/EBITDA of .c7). Globally, many infrastructure funds are investing in mobile towers, FTTH, data centres, submarine cables while that trend is likely to continue over time with more proactive transactions.

In 2022, 2Degrees and Orcon (Vocus NZ) announced their merger to form the thrid largest telecommunications provider.

All three operators are exploring mobile towers monetisation within the next 12 to 18 months taking the opportunity to realise cash from existing assets and focus on the core business of attracting and maintaining subscribers as well as potentially reducing overheads and depreciation charges. For infrastructure investors, the NZ towers would be a new investment opportunity based on long-term income streams and value creation.

Vodafone new owners (Infratil and Brookfield) which are both infrastructure funds are likely to explore a separation of its infrastructure and retail business in the mid-term once its reset of strategy is starting to pay off.

In 2022, both Spark and Vodafone outlined plans to divest their repsective passive telecommunications tower infrastructure assets following global trends.

Idem Est Research predicts the next wave of transactions is likely to continue being about “scale” among small ISPs and largely about infrastructure for Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees.

The arrival of 4G moved the Internet off our desktops into our palms and pockets, 5G could transform the network from something we carry around to something taking us around either virtually (augmented reality or virtual reality) or in reality (autonomous vehicles), the 5G outcome and benefits beyond fast connectivity remain largely unknown in terms of business models, investments required and timeline.

2degrees, Brookfield, Crown Infrastructure Partner, Crown Fibre Holding, Chorus, Enable Networks, Infratil, Mercury, Northpower, Snap, Spark, Telecom NZ, TelstraClear, Trustpower, Tuatahi First Fibre, Ultra-Fast Fibre, Vocus, Vodafone, WEL Networks.

New Zealand Telecoms Industry Report – Table of Contents

1       Key Statistics
1.1        New Zealand’s Population
1.2        New Zealand’s Economy
1.3        New Zealand’s GDP

2       COVID-19 Impact

3       Overall Telecommunications Market, 2015–2027
3.1        Market Overview
3.2        Historical Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2015-2021
3.3        Overall Telecommunications Market Forecast, 2020-2027
3.4        Telecommunications Market Capital Expenditure, 2015-2027
3.4.1      Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2015-2021
3.4.2      Capex to Revenue Benchmark
3.4.3      Capex to GDP Benchmark
3.4.4      Telecommunications Capex Spend Forecast, 2020-2027

4       Telecommunications Operators Profile
4.1        Spark New Zealand Profile
4.1.1      Spark Revenue EBITDA and Capex Mix
4.2        Vodafone New Zealand Profile
4.2.1      Vodafone New Zealand Revenue EBITDA and Capex Mix
4.3        2Degrees
4.3.1      2degrees Revenue EBITDA and Capex Mix
4.4        Chorus Profile
4.4.1      Chorus Revenue, EBITDA & Capex Mix
4.5        Other Players Profile
4.5.1      Vocus New Zealand
4.5.2      Trustpower (now Mercury)

5       Mobile market
5.1        NEW Zealand Mobile Subscribers Historical and Forecast, 2015-2027
5.1.1      New Zealand Mobile Subscribers Historical, 2015-2021
5.1.2      New Zealand Mobile Subscribers Market Share, 2015-2021
5.1.3      New Zealand Smartphone Share, 2021
5.1.4      New Zealand Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2020-2027
5.1.5      New Zealand Mobile Subscribers by Generation (2G, 3G, 4G & 5G) Forecast, 2020-2027
5.2        New Zealand Mobile Revenue Historical and Forecast, 2015-2027
5.2.1      Historical Mobile Revenue, 2015-2021
5.2.1      New Zealand Mobile Revenue Market Share, 2015-2021
5.2.2      Mobile Subscribers ARPU, 2015-2021
5.2.3      New Zealand Mobile Revenue Forecast, 2020–2027
5.3        Mobile Coverage
5.4        Spectrum Holdings
5.4.1      Historical of Spectrum Auctions and Costs
5.4.2      Upcoming 5G Auctions in 2022
5.4.3      Mobile Frequencies Portfolios Analysis
5.4.1      Spectrum Depth Benchmark by Country
5.5        Mobile Download Data and Pricing Trends
5.6        Mobile Speed Tests
5.7        Internet of Things (IoT)

6       Broadband Market
6.1        New Zealand Fixed Broadband Subscribers Historical, 2015-2021
6.2        New Zealand Fixed Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2020-2027

7       Fixed Telecommunications Infrastructure Investments
7.1        Fixed Digital Infrastructure
7.1.1      The Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB)
7.1.2      Submarine Cables

8       New Zealand Telecom Towers Infrastructure Landscape
8.1        Small Tightly Held Tower Market
8.1.1      New Zealand Telecom Towers Background
8.2        New Zealand Telecom Towers Market Forecast
8.2.1      New Zealand Telecom Towers Forecast, 2020-2027
8.2.2      Regulatory Considerations
8.3        Spark TowerCo
8.3.1      Spark TowerCo Towers Key Performance Indicators
8.4        Vodafone TowerCo
8.4.1      Vodafone TowerCo Towers Key Performance Indicators
8.5        Tower Density Benchmark
8.6        Telco Infrastructure Comparative

9       Thematics / Opportunities
9.1        Consolidation Opportunities
9.2        Going for Scope
9.3        New Telecoms Operating Model
9.3.1      The Attraction of Infrastructure Multiples
9.4        5G Developments
9.4.1      5G Overview
9.4.2      5G – Relative Capex Investments and Frequency Range
9.4.3      5G OpenRAN
9.4.4      Beyond 5G and Towards 6G

10     Telco Transaction Database

11     Methodology

12     Copyright Notice

New Zealand – Telecoms Industry Report – List of Figures

Figure 1 – Telco sector revenue as % of GDP in New Zealand
Figure 2 –Revenue Profile Historical Mix (NZD million), 2015 – 2021
Figure 3 –EBITDA Profile Historical Mix (NZD million), 2015 – 2021
Figure 4 – Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2021
Figure 5 – Telecommunications Market EBITDA, 2021
Figure 6 – Telecommunications Revenue & EBITDA Share, 2021
Figure 7 – Total Telecoms Market Revenue and Growth Rate (NZD bn), 2020-2027
Figure 8 – Capex to Revenue Benchmark, 2014-2021
Figure 9 – Capex to GDP Ratio Benchmark, 2015-2021
Figure 10 – Telecommunications Capital & Operational Expenditure Spend, 2000-2027
Figure 11 – Spark Service Revenue Mix, 2015-2021
Figure 12 – Spark Historical Revenue Mix, 2015 – 2021 (NZD million)
Figure 13 – Vodafone New Zealand Revenue Mix, 2015-2021
Figure 14 – Vodafone New Zealand Historical Revenue Mix, 2015 – 2021 (NZD million)
Figure 15 – 2degrees Revenue and EBITDA, 2015-2021 (NZD million)
Figure 16 – Chorus Service Revenue Mix, 2015-2021
Figure 17 – Chorus Historical Revenue Mix, 2015 – 2021 (NZD m)
Figure 18 – New Zealand Mobile Subscribers Share Comparison, 2015-2021
Figure 19 – New Zealand Mobile Subscriber Share Comparison, 2015-2021
Figure 20 – Mobile Net Adds (000’s) Comparison, 2015-2021
Figure 21 – New Zealand Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2020-2027
Figure 22 – Mobile Subscribers by Generation Forecast, 2020-2027
Figure 23 – New Zealand Mobile Revenue Share Comparison, 2015-2021
Figure 24 – Mobile Subscribers ARPU (NZD), 2015-2027
Figure 25 – New Zealand Mobile Revenue Forecast, 2020-2027
Figure 26 – Subscriptions per MHz of Spectrum, Select Asia-Pacific Countries, 2021
Figure 27 –Mobile Handsets Monthly Download Data, 2017-2021
Figure 28 – Data Pricing Trends in Asia-Pacific (US$ per GB per month), 2017-2021
Figure 29 – Spectrum available for IoT in New Zealand
Figure 30 – New Zealand Broadband Subscribers Share Comparison, 2015-2021
Figure 31 – New Zealand Net-Adds (000’s) by Operators, 2015-2021
Figure 32 – UFB Services by Speed
Figure 33 – New Zealand Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2020-2027
Figure 34 – New Zealand Tower Market Share, 2021
Figure 35 – New Zealand Telecom Towers Forecast, 2020-2027
Figure 36 – Capita per Tower, 2021
Figure 37 – Telecoms Providers’ EV/EBITDA Ranges
Figure 38 – 5G Network Slices Structure
Figure 39 – Effect of Frequency on Range
Figure 40 – 5G Capacity and Coverage Layers
Figure 41 – Relative Capex Required for 5G Network Infrastructure Investment
Figure 42 – Telecom Infra Project – OpenRAN Vision

New Zealand Telecoms Industry Report – List of Tables

Table 1 – New Zealand – Key Statistics
Table 2 – Telecommunications Market Revenue by Operators
Table 3 – Total Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2020-2027
Table 4 – Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2015-2021
Table 5 – Historical Spark Service Revenue, EBITDA & Capex, 2015-2021
Table 6 – Vodafone New Zealand Service Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2015-2021
Table 7 – 2degrees Service Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2015-2021
Table 8 – Chorus Wholesale UFB Pricing and Speeds
Table 9 – Historical Chorus Service Revenue, EBITDA & Capex, 2015-2021
Table 10 – Historical Vocus Service Revenue, EBITDA & Capex, 2015-2021
Table 11 – New Zealand Historical Mobile Subscribers, 2015-2021
Table 12 – New Zealand Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2020-2027
Table 13 – Australia Mobile Subscribers by Generation (3G, 4G & 5G) Forecast, 2020-2027
Table 14 – Historical Mobile Service Revenue, 2015-2021
Table 15 – Historical Mobile ARPU, 2015-2021
Table 16 – New Zealand Mobile Service Revenue Forecast, 2020-2027
Table 17 – Historical Spectrum Auctions and Costs
Table 18 – Mobile Frequencies by Operators and by Band (Mhz)
Table 19 – Historical Broadband Subscribers, 2015-2020
Table 20 – Historical Broadband Monthly ARPU, 2015-21
Table 21 – New Zealand Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2020-2027
Table 22 – International Submarine Cable Systems with Landing stations in New Zealand
Table 23 – New Zealand Telecom Towers Market Analysis, 2021
Table 24 – Australia Telecom Towers Indicative Tower Leasing Annual Fees
Table 25 – New Zealand Telecom Towers and Rooftops, Tower per Capita, 2020-2027
Table 26 – Spark TowerCo Towers Key Performance Indicators, 2021
Table 27 – Vodafone TowerCo Towers Key Performance Indicators, 2021
Table 28 – Spark, Vodafone, Vocus and Chorus Telco Infrastructure Landscape
Table 29 – Technology Specifications (ADSL, FTTN, Fibre, 4G/LTE, 4G/LTE-A and 5G)
Table 30 – Telco Transaction Database, 2001-2022

Other Idem Est Research Telecoms Country Reports

Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, JapanNew ZealandMalaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, TaiwanThailand, Vietnam,
Asia Pacific Telecom Towers

Telecoms Country Report




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