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Vodafone NZ Heads For 2 Million Customer Mark

Vodafone New Zealand Heads For 2 Million Customer Mark

Vodafone New Zealand’s continued solid growth will see its customer base exceed two million this year, says Managing Director Russell Stanners.

Steady growth in customer numbers and market share, resulting in solid revenue growth, were highlights of Vodafone’s performance over the 2004-2005 financial year, Stanners said today.

Innovation in mobile solutions and ongoing commitment to innovation in New Zealand meant that Vodafone was well-placed for future growth, he said.

During the 12 months to 31 March 2005, Vodafone gained a net 284,187 customers, to lift its customer base to 1,891,386. Vodafone’s share of the New Zealand mobile market now stands at 55.4%, compared with 54.6% for the previous equivalent period.

“As New Zealand’s leading mobile player, we’re really happy with our growth rates given the reasonable level of maturity in the market - 23% cumulative annual growth in revenue over the past four years is a figure we can be very pleased with,” Stanners said.

“We’ve been seeking sustainable revenue growth and have chased the right performance drivers to achieve this.”
Vodafone attributes its sustained market leadership - despite the mobile penetration rate of more than 80% in New Zealand – to developing innovative products and services which allow customers to derive more value from their mobiles.

“Our decision to spend hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading our network to deliver 3G-enabled products and services to our customers is a case in point. Our customers are going to be blown away by what’s coming this year…these new products and services will have a huge impact on the way they are entertained ,informed, and communicate with family, friends and colleagues.”

Stanners said the array of tailored and value-adding deals offered by Vodafone over the past 12 months had made richer mobile experiences even more accessible to New Zealand customers.
”Motormouth continues to be hugely popular with consumers, and before Christmas we gave our Prepay customers an early gift with our great-value double-up offer. Talkzonezero is helping to break down the barriers to businesses adopting a fully mobile environment, particularly in the small business market. We also brought to New Zealand products and services like Push to Talk, which will improve productivity across a wide range of industries.”

Stanners said the significant growth in data usage, driven by increases in txt, pxt, Vodafone live!, the Blackberry™ Handheld Device and Mobile Connect Card, was particularly pleasing. The increasing number of internet and email-ready handsets being introduced to the market by Vodafone would further fuel this growth.

The introduction of new value-based services such as talkzonezero and customer rewards like Prepay double-up had contributed to an overall reduction of average revenue per user (ARPU) during the financial year, Stanners said.

Over the past 12 months, total (blended) average revenue per user (ARPU) reduced $39 to $633. Prepay ARPU went from $346 to $333, while On Account ARPU, which stood at $1843 a year ago, is now $1760.

The 5.8% year-on-year reduction in overall ARPU was largely driven by aggressive pricing competition in New Zealand and the acquisition by Vodafone of many customers - both in the consumer and business markets - who tended to be less intensive mobile users.

Stanners said the company’s steady growth meant Vodafone could continue to invest in infrastructure in New Zealand, and in new products and services that were up with the best in the world.

“Vodafone is all about offering our customers choice, value for money and innovative products and services. We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made over the last year.”

Vodafone New Zealand Highlights 2004-2005

Business Markets

The launch to New Zealand businesses of the BlackBerry Wireless Handheld™ - a cutting-edge end-to-end solution that combines phone, corporate data access including email, calendaring and Internet browser technology in one slim, sexy, pocket-sized device for businesses.

What we said: “Up until now email has been largely deskbound. Vodafone's launch of the BlackBerry in New Zealand is another leap in technology in terms of its ease and simplicity of use. BlackBerry allows customers to turn wasted time into productive time because they're always connected, even when they're on the move.” (Phil Patel)

We smashed email from the confines of the office when we unveiled our new range of mobile email solutions, including a new 2G/3G Mobile Connect Card.

What we said: “Mobile email is here, it's real and we are going to make it easy for every business to mobilise their email. Email displaced the fax, just as the fax displaced the letter as the primary means of business communication, and I fully expect that Mobile email will displace fixed, deskbound email.” (Russell Stanners).

We reduced the price of mobile data by up to 57% with the release of its new Mobilise data plans. The reductions meant more New Zealanders would be able to enjoy the freedom of wirelessly accessing email and the Internet, company databases or the Intranet from their laptop or handheld device. The significant cost reductions were intended to make total mobility more affordable and cost effective for any business or individual.

What we said: “The challenge New Zealand businesses are now facing is that they have to do more with less. Rather than making people work longer hours in the office, our solutions enable individuals to get more out of their day by eliminating downtime while they're out and about.” (Phil Patel) We launched Push to Talk to New Zealand businesses, which enables users to conduct a walkie-talkie style conversation on their mobile either to an individual or to a group simultaneously through the push of a single button.

What we said: "Push to Talk allows the user to have one device that will perform all the functions of mobile radio communication, while having the freedom of a mobile phone." (Phil Patel) The first video telephony call on a New Zealand mobile network was made on 27 September, marking another historic milestone for New Zealand mobile users. Associate Communications Minister David Cunliffe and athlete Hamish Carter chatted via a video telephony call on the Vodafone 3G network.

What we said: "Products and services enabled by 3G will offer customers even more choices about where they work, how they get their news and entertainment. There'll be a wider range of options about how they communicate with colleagues, friends and family including video telephony." (Russell Stanners).

Consumer Markets

Just when you thought you knew mobile voice pricing, we launched Motormouth - new rates that made calling your Vodafone mate in Auckland the same price as nattering to Nana in London. New voice prices for Vodafone On Account and Prepay customers offered a flat rate of 49 cents per minute 24-7*. What we said: "If you think you had voice plans sussed think again. We're launching these new plans to give our customers more choice about when they call and who they call, and making it really simple. They no longer have to think about peak or offpeak times.” (Hamish Wilkie) We played Santa early this year by giving away a whopping $20 million to our Prepay customers. The Double Up offer meant Prepay customers would receive double the amount of credit when they topped up their mobile. What we said: "We want to thank our customers for being loyal to us throughout the year with double the fun on us.” (Mark Giles).

We launched our new HotLink™ airtime payment solution.

Unique to Vodafone HotLink TM is the ability for both Prepay and On Account customers to top up their airtime balance, directly from a nominated bank account using their mobile, while topping up another Vodafone mobile is also now a reality for HotLink™ users. What we said: “Our market research told us that HotLink TM is a service mobile customers are crying out for. Not only can you top up your own mobile credit, you can use HotLink TM to top up someone else's. That means parents can give credit instead of cash to kids, and friends short of cash can top up a mate when borrowing a few dollars.” (Hamish Sansom).

Responsible marketing Vodafone New Zealand and NetSafe launched a campaign to stamp out TXT bullying among school students. In a first for New Zealand, the two organisations partnered to provide young people with tools to help combat TXT bullying – someone to talk to and the ability to stop the TXTs. Brochures and posters about how to handle txt bullies were developed and sent to every school in New Zealand along with libraries and cinemas. What we said: "We want to make sure that young people don't feel helpless and ensure that they're aware of the practical steps they can take to help themselves if they are dealing with TXT bullying - as well as knowing that Vodafone and NetSafe can also help them.” (Lynley Kirk-Smith)

Sponsorship We launched New Zealand’s first-ever national digital art awards with a promise to confront the boundaries of traditional art. The Vodafone Digital Art Awards – offering more than $40,000 in prizes - invited artists to unleash their creativity by submitting work in four unique digital categories; Still Image, Moving Image, Net Art and PXT/Video PXT. What we said: At Vodafone we feel closely linked to the field of digital art. After all, there's a natural synergy between the creativity and modernity of digital artists, and Vodafone's exploration of new ways to use digital technology to mobilise future generations.This link is important to us and that's why we felt in creating these awards, that we would be a relevant and appropriate partner for New Zealand’s digital art showcase." (Lynley Kirk-Smith)


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