Market musings

A Day Ahead of the World: New Zealand's Mobile Connectivity

by Sasha Viasasha
January 17, 2018

Less than 200 leagues from the International Date Line, Auckland is the first urban center to greet each new day. Similarly, New Zealand is leading the world into the new mobile-first reality, ranking No. 3 on the planet in mobile connectivity, fractionally behind Australia and Norway. Advances in smartphone technology and small business initiatives offer a view into the global future of work. 

Research from Budde.com concluded that, “New Zealand’s mobile market continues to undergo significant developments. There have been considerable gains made in LTE services, with effective competition between Spark, Vodafone NZ and the country’s third mobile operator 2degrees. Coverage from LTE networks has widened considerably in recent quarters, while network operators also provide among the fastest LTE data rates globally.”

Intiatives for the mobile future

As part of this larger trend, New Zealand businesses are showing the way to a new mobile-first economy. The national Future of Work Commission surveyed New Zealanders for two years to come up with 60 recommendations on creating a more resilient, adaptable, profitable society.

A few of their most critical initiatives include:

  • A national CTO to manage a technology roadmap for the next 5-10 years
  • Investments in creators through digital apprenticeships, creative thinking clubs, and garage grants
  • Making New Zealand a magnet for tech talent
  • Supporting international connectedness for greater innovation

All of these initiatives add up to stronger support for small business owners and low-cost technology to make innovative startups more productive.

The nation's preferred device

Both goals are served by the latest generation of smartphones, which act as miniature mobile offices containing business contacts, communications systems, collaboration hubs and essential business software.

Research New Zealand found that smartphones are the nation’s most popular device, with a 46% increase in adoption over the past 3 years. While 70% of New Zealanders own a smartphone, 59% own both a smartphone and another device but prefer their smartphone. Daily use of all other devices is trending downward nationally.

The future can be clearly projected by the fact that 94% of those aged 18-34 rely on their smartphone to get through each day. 69% are using their smartphones for business or banking.

Deloitte’s analysts summed up why this is true:

“The smartphone is the most personal of consumer electronics devices: the most constant companion, the most personal of choices, the most customised and reflective of the owners, the least likely to be shared with other users and the most frequently looked at.”

Innovation following 5G

A wave of new innovation related to the smartphone applications will follow 5G adoption, which is on track to cover the nation by 2020. 5G will allow applications and data transfers to run about 1000X faster than 4G. New Zealand already ranks first in the world in 4G speeds while 4.5G or LTE-Advanced is being adopted by the top three cellular carriers.

5G also holds the key to providing solid service coverage across the rough New Zealand terrain. One of its capabilities is device-to-device (D2D) communication, which allows smartphones to exchange information without going through a wireless base station.

Direct communication reduces stress on urban networks and expands coverage in sparsely populated rural New Zealand, where setting up new base stations is too expensive.

All you need to do is pick up the phone

The best technology connects people with people, and puts the information they need at their fingertips. The need for businesses and their customers to connect on the go is driving demand for an intuitive, responsive interface that people love to use. That’s why we created Spoke Phone.

All the power of a on-premise PBX can now be packed into a powerful communication software, distributed across your existing smartphones. Spoke Phone links you and your employees together in a global mobile network to get more calls made and answered. One touch call transfers, data-rich call logs, sharable call notes and a multilingual AI assistant are just the beginning.

Spoke gives small businesses everything they need to succeed, just made simple to use. No matter how small your business is today, your prospects and customers deserve an enterprise-level phone system to stay in contact with you as you grow.

The bridge to a mobile-first business

Spoke Phone was designed around the way we actually work and live today. You can set up Spoke Phone in 3 minutes and access free team-to-team international calling, DDI for employees with local numbers in 56 countries, and machine learning for live presence to let you know when coworkers are available to resolve problems.

We’re continuing to develop other cool capabilities, too, such as a way to record, transcribe and share call follow up notes with your colleagues and integrate with CRM software.

Ready see how Spoke Phone in action? Set up your own interactive demo, and see how small businesses in New Zealand can make the most of low-cost, highly advanced mobile technology.

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