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2degrees mobile customer numbers push total market over 5 million

Friday 12th February 2010

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New entrant mobile telco 2degrees is helping ensure there are more cellphone accounts than people in New Zealand, according to statistics released by the start-up carrier today.

2degrees announced has 206,000 customers on its network, taking the New Zealand cellphone market to just over five million mobile phone accounts. 

Statistics New Zealand updated the New Zealand population today.  It now stands at 4.35 million.  

A quarter of the phone company’s customers have taken their old mobile number to the new network, and the majority had come from Vodafone New Zealand, which commands the largest market share, 2degrees said. 

Phone number portability was introduced in 2007 and found some solid growth last year, with some 15,500 customers jumping networks in the month of August alone, according to Telecommunications Carriers Forum data.  

“We’ve made it even more attractive to bring your current mobile over to 2degrees and we are seeing record numbers – 53,000 in fact – who have chosen to bring their existing mobile numbers with them,” said 2degrees chief executive Eric Hertz in a statement.  

Mobile networks enjoyed an inflow of customers through the three months ended December 31, with Vodafone recording a net gain of 9,000 customers, after two consecutive quarters of declining customer numbers, while Telecom Corp. announced a gain of 64,000 customers through the period.

That takes the total number of mobile customers in New Zealand to just over five million, Vodafone accounting for about 2.5 million, and Telecom for 2.3 million, plus 206,000 for 2degrees. 

Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds told analysts at a briefing that it’s becoming more common for people to have more than one SIM-card.  

Shares in Telecom shrank 0.4% to $2.30 in trading today after the company posted a 24% slump in underlying second-quarter profit.

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