Mobile broadband subscriptions grow by 53 percent

Broadband adoption in New Zealand is continuing to grow strongly, with mobile and wireless connections standing out in analyst Paul Budde's latest market analysis.

Over a 15-month period, from March 2008 to June 2009, the number of subscribers with cellular, cable or satellite connections climbed by 53 percent, Budde says, to total 220,000.

Fixed line broadband grew by 14 percent in 2009, above the OECD average.

Budde says this trend is likely to continue through to 2010 and 2011, "by which time fibre-based services will be more widely available".

"While DSL continues to be New Zealand's most common broadband connection type (77 percent), there is a notable trend toward mobile broadband connections," he says.

Budde says the next step in New Zealand's broadband development is revolutionary.

"The New Zealand government has given further details on the policies it announced earlier in 2009 regarding its $1.5 billion investment in a national ultra-fast broadband network. The plan has received widespread support," he says.

"Based on a wholesale-only open network the new infrastructure will set the country up for the new direction that is being taken in telecommunications -- from a telephone, and in recent times an internet network, to essential infrastructure for a range of other economic and social sectors including the development of e-government, e-commerce and digital media."

The government's commitment to New Zealand will create a booming ICT industry based on the services being able to be developed and delivered using the ultra-fast broadband network, Budde predicts.

And, continuing a theme he outlined in his recent New Zealand roundtables, Budde emphasises the importance of trans-sector uses of broadband, including synergies between water, gas and electricity networks.

"The New Zealand government is expected to further enhance its trans-sector policies for the [ultra-fast broadband network] during 2010," he says.