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Don't get used to talking about Telecom New Zealand under that name because at some point in 2014 it is going to be renamed "Spark". This change is meant to reflect the broad changes that the group has undergone over the past years as part of privatization and de-regulation.

If that is a bit confusing to you, let's just take a step back to the 1990s when it was determined that the New Zealand Post Office had to be split into three different segments to better reflect the industries that this single entity controlled. At that time, the firm was divided into the Telecom New Zealand Limited, Post Office Bank Limited, and New Zealand Post Limited.

Rather quickly, two large firms from the US stepped in an offered to buy the Telecom business only just established. This sale was allowed, and soon there was a lot of activity in the development of this new business. Not only did competitors enter the market in the form of Clear Communications and BellSouth New Zealand, but the de-regulation meant that specific regulations had to be created too.

All of these things impacted the spread of cable networks, mobile communications, and all things relating directly to the telecommunications industry. Consider that as early as the mid-1990s the need for Internet services was also making demands, and yet the infrastructure for this industry was still developing.

This sort of development meant that a lot of funding was necessary, and many international businesses positioned themselves to profit from this period. Telecom New Zealand, however, also considered its options and made many savvy moves. It made a name for itself in Australia, upgraded the pay phone network, bought out some of its competitors, and strengthened the mobile phone networks.

The payoff from all of this activity was that by the turn of the century New Zealand was well positioned for explosive growth in all areas of telecommunications. For instance, in 2005 Telecom was able to offer ADSL services.

Within the next decade, Telecom New Zealand would overcome many of the technological challenges created by the need for high speed Internet services, broad mobile access, and traditional phone services.

Telecom Today

Today, the firm is a nationwide provider of "land line" telephone services, mobile phone networks, Internet services, and is viewed as a key provider of Information and communications technology (ICT) or unified communications systems for businesses throughout New Zealand.

To ensure the best results in each area of service, the company has been split into a few logical divisions. These include:

Telecom Retail


Telecom New Zealand International


Although there has been some negative press over the years as the firm has struggled to understand demands and meet consumer and business needs, today it can boast an impressive turnaround and equally impressive results.

For instance, it has more than two million mobile connections throughout New Zealand, it employs more than eight thousand people between its New Zealand and Australian operations, and it serves more than 800k in fixed and mobile Internet and broadband services.

Telecom New Zealand has also established 4G services and has since gone private rather than remaining a publicly held firm on the New York Stock Exchange. The decision to utilize public investment was strictly to ensure timely growth of infrastructure, and with that accomplished the stability of the firm has guaranteed. It was delisted in 2012.

Charitable Support

With so many employees, Telecom New Zealand realized it had the power to contribute towards a great deal of good. To that end they have established the Telecom Foundation. This is a way of committing to their employee's preferred causes and helping them to make sure that any and all campaigns meet their goals.

This is done through the use of several company initiatives:

Givealittle - This web based "zero fees" fundraising service is owned and operated by the Telecom Foundation. It ensures that 100% of the money donated through the site reaches the individual or charity mentioned.

Payroll giving - More than 25k eligible charities can receive contributions made automatically through payroll giving.

Volunteering - One paid day is given to every employee (per year) in order to donate their time to a charity. That translates to thousands of days each year that staff can give time towards any of the 25k approved organizations.

Clearly, Telecom New Zealand has had its share of struggles as an emerging industry. However, it is clear that the company has found a solid footing and is providing the public and the nation's businesses with the array of services required. Whether it is high speed Internet, 4G connectivity, or a full menu of unified communications services and solutions, they have done the work and are making it available.

Works Cited

TelecomFoundation. Welcome. 2014.

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