Vodafone NZ loses 50K customers in second quarter

Vodafone NZ boss Russell Stanners

Vodafone New Zealand's customer count fell a net 50,000 to 2.32 million during the company's second quarter, according to figures released by its UK parent.

The carrier still holds a big lead over rivals Telecom and 2degrees, but its total mobile connections have now slipped 100,000 over the past 12 months.

The latest standings:

TOTAL ACTIVE MOBILE CONNECTIONS*

Vodafone: 2.32 million (46.96%)
Telecom:  1.57 million (31.78%)
2degrees: 1 million (20.24%)
TelstraClear/MVNOs: 50,000 (1.01%)

Telecom recently reported a mobile "reset" as it closed down its old CDMA network. Many CDMA customers were revealed as inactive, or had strayed to Vodafone or 2degrees rather tan upgraded to XT.

2degrees recently said it had hit the 1 million customer milestone, with 100,000 customers on contract. 

It its latest quarter, Vodafone's percentage of customers on pre-pay (around 70% when 2degrees launched) continued to edge down, falling to 66.2%. The carrier spins this as a good thing. Contract customers pay more per month than those on prepay.

Vodafone does not include its wholesale deal with TestraClear (which sells a rebadged version of Vodafone's service) in its connection numbers. 

Vodafone bought TelstraClear this quarter, bringing its mobile customers directly into the fold.

The company says it will operate Vodafone and TelstraClear as separate brands for another five or six months. It will phase out TelstraClear branding altogether in about 18 months.

Vodafone PLC does not break out quarterly financial results for its New Zealand subsidiary.

Vodafone NZ recently files full-year result for the year to March 31, 2012 with the Companies Office. Net profit rose to $175 million from $151.5 million a year ago on revenue fell that fell 4.3% to $1.62 billion.

Vodafone PLC delivered a poor result for the quarter, taking its half-year to £492 million against an £8 billion profit in the year-ago quarter. The company announced a series of multi-billion pound write-downs for subsidiaries hit by the Eurozone financial crisis. However, investors were buoyed by the fact Vodafone is able to keep a high 6% dividend yield thanks to its 45% stake in the strongly performing US carrier Verizon Wireless.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz


* Companies count each mobile connection, not each individual customer - so a person with a work cellphone, personal cellphone, tablet and GPS each with their own SIM card would count as four connections, for example. While Telecom and Vodafone, as listed companies, have to release detailed customer numbers, privately-held 2degrees sticks to general numbers. Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees count mobile connections as those that have been used in the past 90 days.

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12 Comments & Questions

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How long before 2D overtakes Telecom to be the number two mobile operator in terms of customer numbers, I wonder.

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When 2D start counting toy cellphones as connections.

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Ha ha you are losing two more next month once our mostly non-fulfilled and overpriced contracts expire... And you can kiss our TelstraClear business good bye as well when that runs out, as that is bad enough now and will only get worse with those Vodafone clowns running it. Shocking service from both, never again!

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Customer numbers are one measure of the size of any telco - revenue is another thing entirely.

2Degrees has a large percentage of the customer numbers at this point but a far smaller share of revenue.

It's that metric which needs to be watching carefully.

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Vodafone pricing and plan inclusions shows they value prepay customers more than contract customers. Noticed how much data is included in cheap prepay plans vs contract plans?

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After 12 years with Vodafone in May this I said good by going to 2 degress would never go back ever again. If they saved more money on their rubbish ads and gave customers a better discount this would have never happened.
That and their call centre is the worst in the world I spent almost a year out of the 12 on hold shame on you and thats when I was paying $130 a month. Who ever said they look after the pre pay customer is right...

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Dont know why people think Vodafone is still wonderful., all sorts of charges, and a dollar gets taken off you if you top up via recharge voucher,

2degrees isnt all that crash either...

Skinny is the future, $4 for 120MB, 5 dollar top ups, free calling between Skinny phones, what's not to like? And a huge range of phones for a wide range of incomes.

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"What's not to like"?

Umm - The fact that your a Telecom Employee & the fact that Skinny works on XT, which has constant service issues - there is two reasons!

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Are you still living in 2009 and managing to post to a future thread? That's AMAZING.

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I moved to XT 11 months ago and have had zero problems.

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And the one thing that hasnt been said is that Telecom cut 10% of its headcount in a restructure on Friday. Aint competition awesome!

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It behoves critics to remember that almost all contract plans contain an embedded subsidy for the handset/access device which is amortised over the fixed term of the contract (typically 24 months), whereas prepay customers must pay in full up front for the handset/access device. This flows through into the monthly contract price. There's no such thing as a free lunch, even in telecommunications.

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