Telecom Corp of New Zealand is planning to increase its investment to speed up its 3G mobile network rollout. Telecom will spend NZD750 million in the fiscal year to the end of June 2006, up from last year’s expenditure of NZD703 million and 2003/04’s NZD608 million. Telecom’s chief financial officer Marko Bogoievski said: “We expect to continue the large 3G spend in the next year by extending the coverage of our network to all major towns in New Zealand.”
Telecom’s focus on 3G services has paid off as it has closed the gap on its only rival in the cellular market, Vodafone, adding 74,000 cellular subscribers in the quarter to the end of June to take its total customer base to 1.6 million, while Vodafone added just half that number to give it 1.93 million users. Telecom is also focusing on broadband internet services, and saw its broadband customer base more than double in the twelve months to the end of June, from 120,000 to 260,000. The telco also reported a year-on-year 21.5% jump in net earnings after tax to NZD916 million, whilst operating revenues rose 4.6% to NZD5.6 billion.