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Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy

Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa.

Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand.

The document pins down the most pressing issues facing the nation and looks at what is needed to fix them.

Risks to infrastructure

Among other items it warns there is existing infrastructure at risk from rising sea levels and a need to increase electricity generation to meet net zero carbon goals.

Te Waihanga notes that technology can do much to improve the nations infrastructure. It says; “We need to accelerate the adoption and diffusion of technological and digital change.”

It helps that most of the technology needed to transform infrastructure is in place. The strategy document says there is little need for high-risk, cutting edge technology. There would be huge benefits from speeding up the adoption of existing technology.

The strategy says: “New Zealand is well-placed to leverage many of the advances in digital technology that have occurred in the past decade.”

High quality broadband network

“We’ve built a high-quality broadband network and have coverage that, while not universal, is widespread.

“Strong market competition in sectors such as energy and telecommunications has proven important in incentivising pockets of technological excellence.

“New Zealand is small and agile with a rich history of adopting new digital technologies with speed, dating back as far as 1985, when New Zealand was one of the first countries to adopt a national system of electronic fund transfers (known as Eftpos)”

Consultation

Te Waihanga consulted the public and interest groups before publishing its strategy.

The feedback on the role of technology suggests that the infrastructure industry has invested less than it might have done in digital technology because there was little pressure from its customers. The industry’s main customer is government.

Submitters told Te Waihanga there is a need for a national digital strategy and more leadership in this area from central government. The government is working on a strategy.

Incentives

The issue is not the lack of technology, but the speed of technology adoption. Te Waihanga wants to see this move faster and suggests there should be incentives for industry to adopt new technologies.

A key part of this is developing people’s skills and moving to an open system of infrastructure data. Standardisation and common data frameworks can also help.

Te Waihanga wants procurement to move from chasing the lowest cost towards seeking the highest value. It also wants government procurement to motivate more technology take-up.

There are legal and regulatory questions, especially in areas like privacy. And a focus on security is essential.

WiFi Calling lets you phone without a cell signal

Calling from homeIf you suffer from poor mobile reception, carriers have an answer: WiFi Calling.

Our house has never had the best cellular reception. It can be hit and miss. Sometimes calls drop out, other times the audio quality is poor. It’s variable there are days when the back deck is a dead spot on other days there’s no signal in the home office.

It has meant missed calls, misheard calls and dropouts at awkward moments.

That’s all in the past now we have WiFi calling. In effect WiFi Calling turns the home WiFi router into a tiny, local cell site.

What are the benefits of WiFi Calling?

It costs nothing, doesn’t require a new phone number and works seamlessly to the point that you don’t even need to think about using it.

The practical results are fewer missed calls or dropouts and better call quality. Engineers say it can extend your phone’s battery life as they no longer need to crank up the power to track down a weak cell signal.

Calls are safe when using a home or workplace WiFi connection. Mobile calls are encrypted end-to-end which means no-one can listen in although if security is important to you it is worth remembering that public WiFi are potentially risky.

What do I need to get WiFi Calling?

While you don’t need to do much to get WiFi calling, there are a few basic requirements.

First, you need to have a suitable phone. Almost every phone sold in the last two or three years should be able to handle WiFi calling. It even works on an eight year old iPhone 5S.

Your phone software needs to be up-to-date. There shouldn’t be a problem with this although some Android users may find their phone brand has not updated the software recently.

Second, you need to have a phone account with either 2degrees or Vodafone. Spark does not offer WiFi calling at the time of writing although it is on the way.

Third, you need to be near a suitable WiFi router. Not every router supports WiFi Calling, this is especially the case with open access WiFi hotspots.

What does WiFi Calling cost?

There’s no extra charge to use WiFi Calling in New Zealand. It’s almost free.

If you use it on a capped broadband connection, the data will count towards the cap. Mind you, voice calls sip data sparingly. Otherwise the calls you make and the txts you send count as part of your mobile plan. This means if you call overseas, you’ll pay for a toll call.

If you travel overseas you will find a call made using WiFi Calling is charged as a domestic New Zealand call. You may get hit with other charges, but you can turn mobile reception off and leave WiFi on to save money.

Pages 12: Apple’s excellent free word processor

Apple Pages 12 word processor

If you use a Mac or an iPad, Apple’s Pages 12 could be the only word processor you need. It’s free, easy to master and, unless you are a lawyer or an academic it includes everything you are likely to need.

Pages 12 at a glance

For:Free, great for layout, all the features most people need.
Against:Native file format, fewer features than Microsoft Word.
Maybe:Collaboration with other iWorks users, iCloud app.
Verdict:Good looking, easy to use. Pages is great option for Apple users who don’t plan to do complex word processing
Rating:4.5 out of 5 – score is for Apple users.
Price:Free
Web:Apple Pages

You may already have Pages 12. Apple installs the software on new Mac computers. It doesn’t come preinstalled on new iPads or iPhones, but you can download it for free from the App Store.

There is a web version of Pages on iCloud that anyone can use, you don’t have to be an Apple customer. The web version works fine with Windows, ChromeOS or Android. You will need to sign up for a free iCloud account that comes with 5GB of storage.

Where iWork fits in the bigger picture

Pages 12 is part of iWork, Apple’s office productivity suite. It sits alongside Numbers, a spreadsheet and Keynote, a presentation app. The three are made to be used with each other and share many common ideas and controls. Learn to use one and you have learned them all.

For many Apple users Pages will be the only word processor you ever need. It integrates brilliantly across the various Apple devices and to iCloud. You can move from device to device and get the same user experience, Pages works much the same way everywhere.

The main alternatives to Pages are Microsoft Word, which is part of Microsoft Office and Google Docs which is part of GSuite.

Office and GSuite are not free, although there are free options. You may not find these free options enough for serious work. If you prefer free software there is LibreOffice.

Microsoft Office and LibreOffice offer more features, but many of these are not essential for everyday word-processing.

Is Pages as good as Microsoft Word?

The simple answer to this question is that it depends on what you want to do and who you work with.

Pages, Word and Google Docs each have a different central focus. Pages is all about putting words and pictures onto a printed or online page.

Its strength lies in layout.

You could produce an advertisement, a newsletter or a pamphlet faster with Pages than with, say, Microsoft Word and a layout app.

You might choose Pages as a low cost alternative to a professional design application like Adobe Indesign.

Compare Pages with Word

In comparison, Word has every conceivable word processor feature including many that you may never use. This makes it popular with large companies and professional users, such as lawyers.

It is a sprawling, complex comprehensive application. That makes it versatile, but it takes a long time to learn how to get the best from it. In comparison Pages is lighter and quicker to master.

Apple built Pages to work with its computers, tablets and phones. If you are familiar with these products, Pages will feel familiar. Microsoft developed Word for Windows computers. These days the Mac versions are far better than in the past, but there are times when that Windows heritage can confuse Mac users.

Is Pages better than Google Docs

Again, it depends what you want to do and who you work with.

Google Docs’s strength is in collaboration. Pages is great for collaboration if you only work with colleagues who use Macs. Otherwise it is not as good as Google Docs. Nor is Microsoft Word.

While Google Docs is good on a desktop or on a ChromeOS device, it is far from the best choice on a tablet or a phone. Google’s mobile apps are inferior to Pages or Microsoft Word. Pages works far better on Apple tablets and phones.

Likewise Pages is a long way ahead of Google Docs for layout and complex documents. In terms of features it sits between Google Docs and Word.

Using Pages 12

You can use Pages on multiple levels. Need to knock up a document fast? Pages can do this, it will guide you through adding typography and inserting images. You can power through the tasks in no time.

There are templates to help you get started. Pages has the best range of templates of any popular word processor and there are many more you can download from Apple and third parties.

When you first open Pages you’ll see a main window and a right-hand sidebar. This sidebar shows formatting and layout controls. If you want to focus on words, it is easy to hide the side-bar.

A second, optional left-hand sidebar can show comments and features like a table on contents.

Unlike other word processors, there isn’t a draft view. This can be annoying at first because, as the name suggests, Pages is organised around pages. And like every other word processor, that means it sees the world from a printed document perspective.

No matter what you are working on, there can be headers and footers to navigate, even if you plan to build a single online-only document.

Working with others

Pages can opening and write documents for other word processor formats but has its own native format. Some features, largely to do with layout, don’t necessarily make it when converting to other document formats. And nothing else reads native format Pages documents.

This isn’t much of a problem in practice as long as you remember which features don’t translate. You can’t send a native Pages document to a colleague using Microsoft Windows and expect them to open it. There is a workaround, but it involves them signing up for an iCloud account and opening the document in the online version of Pages.

Life is far easier if you remember to save your Pages document in Word before sending. You can choose to send as PDF, text or RTF. Don’t expect your formatting to stay unchanged if you make a round trip where a colleague edits and returns the document.

The software picks up almost everything from other formats. You could, say, open a Microsoft Word document that has review comments and mark-up, then work through these in Pages.

Pages collaboration works fine if you work on the same document as a colleague using either Pages or the web app.

Pages for Mac, iPhone, iPad

Pages for Mac works really well. Yet Pages can shine on an iPhone or iPad, especially if you use one of them with a Mac. You’ll see a simplified view of the app, but all the desktop features are there. You may have to dig around to find them.

On the iPhone you can use a screen view designed to make editing easier. It hides the images and fancy features allowing you to focus on the text.

Apple has a feature on its operating systems called Continuity. It means that if you have Bluetooth switched on and both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, you can move seamlessly from editing a Pages document on one device to another.

Another feature called Handoff means you can pick up on another device where you left off.

It feels like magic to work on a desktop document at home and continue to edit the same document on your iPhone while riding on a train or bus to work.

If Pages 12 has a weakness it is dealing with long documents. It’s fine if you are writing anything up to a few thousand words, say a long essay, magazine feature or book chapter. Things break down when documents get bigger than this.

Reviewer’s notes

  • The iPhone and iPad versions of Pages have a useful Presenter Mode which can turn your device into a teleprompter or autocue. Words appear in big text without any images or distractions and you can make it automatically scroll down.
  • A recent update adds support for Apple’s Shortcuts automation tool.
  • Pages has support for language translation on the fly.
  • You can use Apple’s Scribble software with Pages on an iPad. It works with the Apple Pencil to turn handwritten notes into typed text. This feature is powerful if you want to add text to a document while you are standing up.
  • Pages is a good option if you plan to produce Apple Books.

Pages 12 verdict

If you live and work exclusively with Apple devices Pages 12 is potentially the best word processor for your needs. There are simpler alternatives, Markdown editors are a good choice if you crave simplicity and minimalism. And there are more complex alternatives, Word had more features.

Yet for many users Pages 12 is a solid choice and it is free.


Apple Pages 5 review

This is an excerpt from an Apple Pages 5 review that was published July 8, 2014.

Many long-term Pages users were not impressed when Apple updated its iWork word processor from Pages ’09 to Pages 5 in late 2013.

People who invested time and effort learning and mastering the earlier Pages ’09 version of the software found key features were missing. If they had written scripts, many stopped working.

In time the features returned. Apple drip-fed updates restoring much of what was missing in the first version of Pages 5.

Pages: the name tells the story

Pages is not a standard word processor. The name is a giveaway. It is a page design tool first and a word processor second. It was first built to make works look pretty on the printed page. Later the focus shifted to creating good looking online documents.

It does this well. Pages is a low cost alternative to Adobe Indesign for people who need to make words and pictures look good, but who don’t need professional tools and don’t want to pay a lot for them.

It can deliver great looking designs. You don’t need to be an expert to get results.

As a word processor?

Apple talks about Pages as a word-processor. It is part of iWork along with the Numbers spreadsheet and the Keynote presentation manager.

Like it or not that puts it up against Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint or Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Pages 5 does not feature collaboration tools like Google Docs. Nor does it have the heavy duty tools you’ll find in Microsoft Word. It’s more basic in these departments.

Writing space

You get a clean writing space and easy access to the controls needed for adding styles. It’s productive and trouble free.

You can work with documents that come from Word or Google Docs and you can send Pages documents back to these apps. You’ll even see many of the review marks from the other applications – although not all. There are few, if any, problems converting between document formats.

Tracking changes

It’s not the best tool for jobs where you need to track changes with clients, but it can cope.

Pages 5 is the best tool if you want to share and edit documents across a Mac, an iPhone and an iPad. There are apps for all three devices and they work much the same in each.

The big change in the move from Pages ’09 to Pages 5 is iCloud. You can choose to store documents on your Mac’s hard drive or to iCloud. This means you could start writing a document on an iPad at home. Pick up the document from iCloud on your phone while riding the train to work, then finish it off on your desktop Mac in your office.

Pages 5 verdict

Apple Pages 5 is free for Apple users. You can’t argue with the value. It is more than good enough for everyday writing jobs, can handle many, but not all, more difficult tasks and massively outperforms Word or Google Docs if you need to create a good looking layout.

If you are committed to Microsoft Word or Google Docs you may not want to switch, but the option is there should you need it.

Final UFB leg secures West Coast network resilience

Chorus subcontractors finished the last stage of a 250km network extension to secure West Coast telecommunications.Chorus subcontractors finished the last stage of a 250km network extension to secure West Coast telecommunications.

Final UFB leg secures West Coast network resilience

A 250km fibre connection between Fox Glacier and Haast completes the project giving the West Coast modern and resilient communications.

Until now the region has depended on two lines. One runs along State Highway 6 from Nelson to Greymouth. The other connects Greymouth to Christchurch through Arthur’s Pass crossing the Alpine Fault seismic zone.

This arrangement left the West Coast vulnerable to communications outages during severe weather.

To Lake Hawea and the world

The connection between Fox Glacier and Haast and then on to Lake Hawea provides an additional route to the rest of the world.

Chorus GM, Customer and Network Operations Andrew Carroll says the connection gives West Coasters an additional layer of protection.

Crown Infrastructure Partners provided government funding for the project. The work was handled by Ventia and Electronet, two Chorus subcontractors and the Rural Connectivity Group played a significant role.

Communications minister David Clark says the UFB extension was financed through the Provincial Growth Fund.

West Coast connectivity

He says: “On the West Coast alone, the population with access to UFB has surged from 23 percent to 71 percent since 2017”.

On top of the connection, the new connection brings fibre to the small West Coast community at Haast. Around 90 homes there will now be able to order a fibre connection.

Carroll says: “Making fibre available to residents in Haast was a uniquely Kiwi initiative; it sees residents in one of the remotest towns in New Zealand having access to one of the fastest broadband technologies available.”

The new fibre has allowed the Rural Connectivity Group to add 16 further cell towers in the area. These add to the 26 cell towers operational on the West Coast. They mean residents will have 4G mobile services while 130km of remote state highways will have coverage.


Vocus and 2degrees get OIO nod

Vocus NZ and 2degrees welcome today’s statement from the Overseas Investment Office, providing consent for the acquisition of 2degrees, which will enable the merger of the two businesses.

Mark Callander, Vocus NZ CEO and named CEO of the merged business says, “We welcome OIO consent, which concludes the regulatory approvals for the transaction and will allow us to proceed with the merger of Vocus NZ and 2degrees. We expect the transaction to be finalised in the coming weeks and will come together as a combined business as 2degrees on June 1.”


Trustpower sale to Mercury now unconditional

Mercury NZ told the NZX its NZ$467 acquisition of Trustpower’s retail business is now unconditional.

The move sees the energy company move to become a second tier telecommunications retailer and New Zealand’s largest multiple service utilities business.

The remainder of Trustpower has been renamed as Manawa Energy and says it will focus on renewable energy.

While Trustpower was a minnow compared with Spark, Vodafone and the recently merged 2degrees-Orcon business, it was the next largest fixed-line broadband retailer with a six percent market share.

It recently added fixed-wireless broadband to its product offering.

Combined with Mercury’s customers this moves up to 7.8 percent. Spark is on around 40 percent, while Vodafone and 2degrees are each on roughly 20 percent. The top five account for more than 85 percent of all broadband customers.

Trustpower was a Spark mobile reseller. The company’s mobile phone business barely registers in market share terms and Mercury did not formerly have any business in this space. The deal is unlikely to move the dial unless there is significant change in the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) sector.

Influential player

Despite being small, Trustpower was influential. It pioneered the strategy of cross-selling power and telecommunications. That meant it found a way to reduce customer churn. That’s something other retail broadband service providers continue to struggle with.

Vocus followed Trustpower’s lead when it acquired power retailer Switch Utilities Ltd in 2016. This move meant it could sell similar power-broadband bundles. The company says this has proved popular with customers. Today the business is branded as Vocus Energy although that may change after the merger between Vocus-Orcon and 2degrees.

In September, the Commerce Commission waved through the acquisition saying it was satisfied the deal was “unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.” The consideration is based on the two companies’ position in the electricity market. The Commerce Commission official statement, barely mentions the telecommunications aspect of the acquisition.


Telcowatch: NZ mobile market stable

Telcowatch’s quarterly market share report shows there was little movement between New Zealand’s mobile phone carriers in the first quarter of 2022.

Spark remains the largest mobile carrier with a 36 percent market share under its own brand and a further 7 percent for its cut-price Skinny subsidiary. The total is 43 percent.

Vodafone is second on 25 percent with 2degrees bringing up the rear with a 23 percent market share. Movement between the brands was minimal during the quarter with 2degrees dropping half a percent of market share.


Phone shipments tumble 9 percent in first quarter 2022

IDC reports worldwide phone shipments tumbled 8.9 percent in the first quarter of 2022 when compared with 2021.

Rival analyst company Counterpoint Research puts the 2022 q1 fall at seven percent to 328 million units. IDC puts the total sale at 314 million units. This is behind IDC’s earlier forecast.

There’s a closer look at 2022 first quarter phone shipments on the main blog site.


New Zealand signs Declaration for the future of the Internet

New Zealand joined the United States, every European Union nation, Australia and 31 other countries to sign a wide-ranging Declaration for the Future of the Internet.

It lays out a set of priorities for an “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable and secure internet”. The document includes lofty ideas such as affordability, net neutrality and dealing with illegal content while not getting in the way of free expression. There are few details on how the signatories will achieve any of this, but the concept sounds good.

All this comes at a time when countries like China and Russia are clamping down on the freedoms outlined in the declaration. And significantly it contradicts Ukrainian demands to have Russia cut off from the wider internet.


Apologies to anyone upset by the non-appearance of last week’s The Download newsletter. I caught Covid and was out of action for a few days.


In other news… At Reseller News Rob O’Neill covers research from Spark’s CCL operation on New Zealand companies’ cloud investment plans. Half the companies surveyed by CCL say they intend to invest more in cloud services next year.

The Overseas Investment Office has given Amazon Web Services the go-ahead to proceed with its plans for an AWS region in New Zealand. The project will involve multiple data centres which Amazon says will means spending NZ$7.5 billion.

Seeby Woodhouse’s Voyager Internet is working on a 100 gigabit network upgrade. It should be complete in November. A blog post on the Voyager website says the upgrade means the ISP can offer customers 10G services, L2 Ethernet and national backhaul.

2degrees is working with Microsoft and Umbrellar on its Cloud Navigator portal. The service gives customers self-service control over managing abut being Microsoft licences and products.

A report in the Wall Street Journal says the NFT market is “collapsing”. Average sales of NFTs are down 92 percent from their peak in September and the number of active wallets, which indicate people trading in NFTs, is down 88 percent. “Collapse” could be too strong a word, but it looks like reality is intruding on the market.

Engineers at CableLabs demonstrated 8Gbps downloads and 5Gbps uploads on an HFC network using a DOCSIS 4.0 modem. In theory the technology could be used to revive Vodafone’s UFC Broadband.

Peter Berghaus New Zealand (PB Traffic), is using Internet of Things (IoT) technology from Pollin8 and Thinxtra to maintain road safety and optimise traffic flow at infrastructure development sites. The company uses the technology to keep track of its temporary traffic lights.


Phone shipments tumble 9 percent in first quarter

IDC reports worldwide phone shipments tumbled 8.9 percent in the first quarter of 2022 when compared with 2021.

Rival analyst company Counterpoint Research puts the 2022 q1 fall at seven percent to 328 million units.

IDC says the total fell to 314 million units. This is behind IDC’s earlier forecast.

Nabila Popal, a research director at IDC attributes the fall to negative consumer sentiment. The mood is down everywhere thanks to worries about inflation and economic instability.

Invasion concerns, supply chain worries

Then there are concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and further supply chain problems thanks to the lockdown in Shanghai. The consumer mood is worse in China.

Counterpoint Senior Analyst Harmeet Singh Walia mentions similar factors behind the fall.

The turmoil has done little to change the relative position of the main players.

Both analyst firms note that Samsung remains the phone market leader and put the top four brands in the same order.

Samsung remains market leader

IDC says Samsung has 23.4 percent share of shipments. That is down a fraction on last year. In IDC’s book Apple is in second with an 18 percent market share, its share is up by a larger, yet still small fraction.

Xiaomi and Oppo both took a hit but remain in third and fourth place.

Walia says Samsung overcame supply chain problems and a late flagship launch. Samsung and Apple were the only two companies with shipments close to pre-pandemic levels.

The next issue of concern is that the Ukraine war could lead to a drop in the availability of raw materials needed to make modern phones.


Earlier reports on phone shipments:

Phone shipments climbed in 2021

Published 01/02/22

Worldwide phone shipments were up 5.7 percent in 2021. A total of 1.35 billion phones were shipped.

IDC reports the full year growth came despite shipments falling in the second half of the year. The research company says year-on-year sales were down 4.5 percent in the second half of 2021 when compared to 2020.

Samsung remains the top phone brand. It shipped 272 million units in 2021. That’s up from 256 million a year earlier. Samsung has a 20 percent market share. Its shipments grew 6 percent in 2021 which was the worst growth figure of the top five phone makers.

Counterpoint Research offered similar numbers. It counted 271 million phone shipments for Samsung during the year and says the market grew 4 percent in the year to 1.39 billion units.

Apple surge in China

Apple is in second place. Its share moved up from 15.9 percent in 2020 to 17.4 percent in 2021. The company shipped a total of 236 million iPhones in 2021. Apple saw year on year growth of 15.9 percent.

This was an all time record for Apple.

Counterpoint says Apple grew 18 percent to 237.9 million units during 2021: “due to strong performance by the iPhone 12 series”.

IDC says part of the reason for Apple’s strong year was a 40 percent surge in shipments to Chinese customers. It also says Apple showed supply chain strength at a time other companies ran into problems with component shortages.

Supply chain woes

Research director Nabila Popal says; “The fact that 2021 would have come in drastically higher if it were not for the supply constraints adds even more positivity to the healthy 5.7 percent growth we saw for 2021”.

Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo make up the remainder of the top five phone companies. Third place Xiaomi showed the strongest year-on-year growth with shipments up almost 30 percent.

Beyond the top five phone brands it was another story. The rest of the market saw shipments drop 12.5 percent during 2021.

Smartphone Shipments Declined in the Fourth Quarter But 2021 Was Still a Growth Year with a 5.7% Increase in Shipments, According to IDC.

Counterpoint Research: Global Annual Smartphone Market Grew for the First Time Since 2017; Record Annual Shipments for Apple.

Mercury NZ rising in retail broadband, mobile

Mercury NZ told the NZX its NZ$467 acquisition of Trustpower’s retail business is now unconditional.

The move sees the energy company move to become a second tier telecommunications retailer and New Zealand’s largest multiple service utilities business.

The remainder of Trustpower has been renamed as Manawa Energy and says it will focus on renewable energy.

While Trustpower was a minnow compared with Spark, Vodafone and the recently merged 2degrees-Orcon business, it was the next largest fixed-line broadband retailer with a six percent market share.

It recently added fixed-wireless broadband to its product offering.

Number four in retail telecommunications

Combined with Mercury’s customers the market share moves up to 7.8 percent. Spark is on around 40 percent, while Vodafone and 2degrees are each on roughly 20 percent. The top five account for more than 85 percent of all broadband customers.

Trustpower was a Spark mobile reseller. The company’s mobile phone business barely registers in market share terms and Mercury did not formerly have any business in this space. The deal is unlikely to move the dial unless there is significant change in the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) sector.

Despite being small, Trustpower was influential. It pioneered the strategy of cross-selling power and telecommunications. That meant it found a way to reduce customer churn. That’s something other retail broadband service providers continue to struggle with.

Vocus followed Trustpower’s lead when it acquired power retailer Switch Utilities Ltd in 2016.

This move meant it could sell similar power-broadband bundles. The company says this has proved popular with customers. Today the business is branded as Vocus Energy although that may change after the merger between Vocus-Orcon and 2degrees.

In September the Commerce Commission wave through the acquisition saying it was satisfied the deal was “unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.” The consideration is based on the two companies’ position in the electricity market. In the official statement, Telecommunications was only mentioned in passing.