Essay Example on Spark New Zealand is one of the country's largest telecommunications companies

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Spark New Zealand is one of the country's largest telecommunications companies It is New Zealand's biggest provider of fixed phone lines as well as providing mobile networks broadband and mobile internet connections Spark has large premises in Auckland Wellington and Christchurch as well as offices in the Waikato region The company also has small retail mobile phone stores in most main centres in New Zealand Spark has its origins in the Electric Telegraph Company which became the New Zealand Post Office then Telecom in 1987 before changing its name to Spark in 2014 History Spark has its origins in the earliest telecommunication operations in New Zealand The country s first telegraph line was established between Christchurch and Lyttelton in 1862 The Electric Telegraph Department was formed in 1865 by the government This was New Zealand s first telecommunications division The Electric Telegraph Department was merged with the New Zealand Post Office in 1881 which meant it offered both postal and telecommunications services and the New Zealand Post Office operated like this for many years providing telegraph facilities alongside its postal service and later providing telephone exchanges and public telephones The Country Telecommunications Act was passed in 1912 This Act provided greater public access to telephone networks and by the 1920s many New Zealanders had home telephones In the 1930s telecommunications extended outside the domestic market with the first international call being made to Australia in 1930 and then to Great Britain in 1931 In the 1980s discussions about deregulation came to the forefront of political and business debate In 1987 the New Zealand Post Office was separated into three state owned enterprises Telecom New Zealand Postbank and New Zealand Post These three profit driven enterprises were the first step towards full privatisation New Zealand became the first country in the world to deregulate the telecommunications market when they did so in 1988

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This meant big changes for Telecom who until now had had clear dominance in the New Zealand market With major steps towards privatisation having taken place Telecom New Zealand was sold in 1990 for 4 25 billion Opposition to privatisation led to conditions being placed on the Telecom sale amongst these being the retention of free local calling In the 1990s although Telecom still held the majority of the domestic market there was growing competition in the telecommunications sector with 26 telecommunication companies operating in New Zealand at this time During this era Telecom was first listed on the NZ Stock Exchange The recession in the New Zealand market saw Telecom expand into the Pacific Islands during this period and then Australia when the company acquired AAPT During the 2000s the market had opened up considerably and there was major competition for Telecom The two biggest competitors at this time were TelstraClear and Vodafone During this era there was also public criticism of the dominance that Telecom and Vodafone had over the internet and mobile phone market which was seen to have caused high prices and a lag in the introduction of quality high speed internet In 2006 in a regulatory move legislation was passed that allowed other telecommunication companies to use the network and infrastructure that had until then had been solely operated by Telecom This local loop unbundling LLU process meant that competitors were able to offer improved faster internet services The move was detrimental to Telecom s shares on the stock market and this shift also led Telecom in 2008 to separate into three different entities Chorus who took charge of the infrastructure and network and a wholesale and retail branch of Telecom

In 2011 Telecom and Chorus split and Chorus became involved in the scheme put forward by government to provide ultra fast broadband throughout New Zealand In 2014 Telecom undertook a major renaming and rebranding process and Telecom became Spark New Zealand The renaming was part of a bigger shift by the company to move from being infrastructure focused to providing digital services The renaming process cost 20 million and the work included the rebranding of stores and phone boxes throughout the country The change in name was met with mixed reviews as was their subsequent launch of internet based television Showme TV in the same year In 2017 the Commerce Commission maintains some regulatory authority over the sector This means that all telecommunications companies operating within New Zealand pay a Telecommunications Development Levy which goes towards improving infrastructure and telecommunication networks Impact As one of New Zealand s key telecommunications companies Spark has nearly 700 000 broadband customers and in partnership with Skinny is the largest mobile provider in the country Their revenue for 2017 was 3614 million and their net earnings were 418 million Spark has a diverse portfolio and their multi brand strategy sees them in joint operation with a variety of other technology groups and companies While Spark has not retained any stake in the infrastructural lines in New Zealand they have investments in international undersea cables Spark is involved in an assortment of community initiatives It provides support for school aged children with a number of programs Environmentally the company has committed to the increased use of electric cars and is a member of a scheme that encourages the recycling of mobile phones Spark s business mission statements highlight their commitment to diversity in the workplace and to increasing the number of women in leadership roles in the organisation

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