Vodafone, which lost 27,000 customers in its September quarter - breaking a years' long run of unchecked growth - made a comeback during its December quarter. [Note: NBR 24/7 got the story wrong earlier, reporting that Vodafone had lost 9000 customers. This is a corrected posting.]
2degrees promises to reveal customer numbers Friday
Quietly, 2degrees becomes a little less Kiwi
The local subsidiary does not release customer numbers, but in a quarterly update by its UK parent this week reveals Vodafone NZ had a net gain of 9000 customers in the three months to December.
As the stats stand today, Vodafone has 2.49 million customers, Telecom 2.25 million and 2degrees an unknown number, estimated around 100,000.
Telecom, which enjoyed a net gain of 64,000 customers during its last quarter, will announce its latest XT numbers at its results briefing this Friday.
2degrees has also said it will announce customer numbers on the same day.
Fewer on prepay
Notably, the historically very high number of Vodafone NZ customers on pre-pay rather than contract plans continues to slip.
A year ago, nearly 74% were on prepay. A slow but sure decline saw the number hit 70.7% for the December quarter. The stat indicates Vodafone lost lower margin customers to 2degrees during its September quarter.
Any customer numbers Telecom reveals Friday will not include the impact of the recent XT outage, which may have a positive spin-off effect for Vodafone. A spokesman reported a large number of customer inquiries, especially in the South Island.
However, even as Telecom goes on defence with XT, Vodafone will face fresh competition shortly as 2 degrees - which launched with a 2.5G network - upgrades to 3G this year.
"We had an excellent quarter with strong sales in our Christmas period," said a Vodafone spokesman.
"Net additions is a limited tool by which to measure the market, especially when market penetration exceeds 100% as it does in New Zealand but Vodafone is pleased with the sales results we’ve achieved in a highly competitive market."
In November, the Commerce Commission recently reported that the NZ mobile market had passed 110% penetration, or 4.7 million connections, providing wriggle-room for all phone companies to register growth.
The extra connections over NZ's population of 4.35 million are accounted for by people who have home and work mobiles, a SIM-card packing data stick, notebook or netbook, or accounts with more than one phone company - such as 2degrees pre-pay customers who've kept their Telecom or Vodafone SIM card
Wed, 10 Feb 2010