Photo NZ Herald
Telecom plans to change its name later this year to
Spark, and move into the internet television market.
The company announced this morning it would launch "a
standalone and high-quality internet TV brand, Showme TV"
later this year.
"The upcoming launch of ShowmeTV offers all New Zealanders an
exciting new choice about how to get their home
entertainment, which we think represents the future of how
people will access content," company chief executive Simon
"It's a great example of how this company is changing by
delivering the sorts of new services our customers want."
Earlier this month, Sky TV announced it was cutting ties with
Telecom, agreeing to end a resale agreement which saw Sky's
television service sold in a bundle with Telecom's phone
Last year, Telecom entered into a distribution deal with a
web-based broadcaster to play English Premier League football
Telecom also announced plans to rebrand itself as Spark, a
process which spokesman Richard Llewellyn was likely to cost
about $20 million.
Much of that would be spent on changing signs.
"As you can imagine, there is quite a lot of signage," he
Mr Moutter said: "Spark better reflects the company's new
direction and the aspirations it has for its place in the
life of New Zealanders".
"As a company we've moved far beyond the home telephone.
Spark better represents what we are today - it is all about
digital services, fibre, mobile, data, cloud, entertainment,
apps, or whatever new technology is around the corner," he
Telecommunications consultant Jonathan Brewer described the
name change on Twitter as "insanity".
"They stand to lose a generation of customers who have never
known anything but Telecom."
Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams
welcomed the news that Telecom will launch its new
internet-delivered television and movie service.
"This is one of the early signs that the market understands
the new opportunities that will be available under the
Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative," said Adams.
"These are exciting times as New Zealand's enhanced
connectivity through UFB, the Rural Broadband Initiative and
fourth-generation mobile technology changes and challenges
"It brings considerable opportunities for new offerings in
Adams said it fell on industry to take the lead in some
areas, including developing and promoting new services to
business and consumers.
"The Government is playing an important role in the roll-out
of faster broadband but we cannot, and should not, be
dictating how use evolves.
"The market is evolving rapidly and throwing up exciting
challenges. Those who grab them early are likely to
Mr Moutter said the company was "operating at a faster pace
than in the past and we have to appeal to a broader range of
customers in a competitive market place.
"Our successful initiatives in 4G mobile, fibre, WiFi, cloud
services and applications have given us new momentum.
"When we embarked on this journey, we knew that at some point
we would likely move beyond the Telecom name - to something
that better reflects what our customers expect from us.
"Last year we gave our mass-market brand a colour and style
refresh to reflect the changes we had already made as a
business - and customers have responded positively."
Until the name change takes place later this year, the
company will continue to trade as Telecom and Gen-i.
Spark Digital Solutions will be the new name for Gen-i,
providing solutions for the rapidly evolving needs of
business, enterprise and government clients as they meet the
demands of an increasingly globalised, connected and mobile
Spark Ventures will be the new name for Telecom Digital
Ventures and will be focused on accelerating the company's
future focus, delivering connected digital experiences that
customers love and applications such as Smart Data analytics
that will power tomorrow's successful businesses.
Telecom announced a flat net profit for the half year of $167
million, up 2.5 per cent on the same period in 2012.
Profit excluding discontinued operations was $147 million,
down 12.5 per cent on period for the year before.
Revenue for the six months was from continuing operations
declined 3.0 per cent to $1.8 billion, largely attributable
to a 9.2 per cent decline in fixed line revenues.
Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation
(EBITDA) from continuing operations were down 5.8 per cent.
The net profit, although flat, is slightly higher than two
analysts were predicting.
Forsyth Barr analyst Blair Galpin was predicting Telecom
would reveal a net profit after tax for the six months to
December of about $165 million.
A Goldman Sachs research note published last Friday put the
company's adjusted net profit at $154 million.
First NZ Capital Greg Main predicted net profit at $172
million for period.
Telecom's total mobile connections jumped up 108,000 over the
six months, which means the company now has around 1.9
million customers in this market.
[An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect
figure - Online ODT]