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Vodafone pulls ahead of Spark in the final quarter of 2019

Vodafone pulls ahead of Spark in the final quarter of 2019, according to latest Telcowatch report

Last quarter, Vodafone’s mobile subscriber market share increased to 36%, while Spark’s dropped to 35%, meaning Vodafone is currently holding the majority share of the New Zealand market. This comes after both mobile operators maintained a subscriber share parity of around 36% over the previous six months (April - October 2019). Spark and Vodafone have each seen much greater changes in their market share over the past year than 2degrees (currently at 23%) or Spark subsidiary Skinny (6%).

Other market share highlights over the last 12 months include:

• Spark recorded a market share high of 37% in the final quarter of 2018, with Vodafone hitting its lowest share of 35% in the same period. Since Spark’s peak in Q4 2018, their market share has continued to decline, hitting a full year low of 35% in Q4 2019, while Vodafone hit a full year high of 37% over the same period
• Spark subsidiary Skinny saw an 8% increase in market share between Q3 and Q4 2019. This is the most significant change in the market share across the four major mobile operators, and they now hold 6% absolute market share
• Both Vodafone and Skinny saw positive year-on-year market share growth in October, November and December 2019, with Skinny having 10% average year-on-year relative growth and Vodafone having 4%. Meanwhile, Spark saw a monthly average of 4% decline in year-on-year market share growth in Q4 2019

This mobile market share information comes from the Q4 2019 release of Telcowatch, New Zealand’s most accurate mobile operator market share report, with a 0.5% margin of error at a 95% confidence level. The freely available report offers unbiased, reliable insights into the monthly and quarterly performance of Vodafone, Skinny, Spark and 2degrees. Interested parties who subscribe will receive the report on a quarterly basis, each version providing a comprehensive overview of market share changes (including graphs, commentary and insights).

Telcowatch is a joint initiative designed to empower Kiwis to benefit from data and analytics every day. The data comes from Modica Group, whose cloud-based messaging platform sends hundreds of millions of SMS messages on behalf of their enterprise clients (like financial services, retailers, government entities and supermarkets) every year, and who engage with virtually every mobile user in the country. Messages are sent to approximately 2.9 million personal devices every month via the platform, each of which must go through that device’s mobile carrier – this provides a reliable indication of each operator’s market share. The market share data is then analysed and reported on by advanced analytics company Datamine.

“Most market share reports in this space are produced using SIM data,” explains Stuart Wilson, CEO of Modica Group.

“For example, a Telco might measure their market share by saying, ‘We’ve got over 1.5 million SIM cards’. However, this approach doesn’t take into consideration the fact that many of those SIMs are for machine-to-machine devices, or smart meters, or for one-time use. By only looking at unique, active mobile devices for the Telcowatch report, we have a much more accurate dataset – one that is statistically representative of the NZ market – with which to analyse market share.”

Paul O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Datamine, believes that this type of advanced analytics and data commercialisation is the future of market share reporting.

“By using AI and advanced analytics to analyse market share, you can significantly reduce the biases and anomalies often found in other reporting methods,” he explains. “With Telcowatch, and in other similar projects, we’ve found this to be a reliable and accurate way to get the best possible picture of the market.”


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