New reports from the Chorus annual meeting in Wellington say the company is keeping a watch on mobile network developments as carriers prepare 5G roll-outs.
Writing for BusinessDesk, Pattrick Smellie reports on comments by Chorus chairman Patrick Strange who notes: "There is increasing convergence over time between cellular networks and fixed line networks, we follow that pretty closely."
He went on to say: "We're looking strategically about how we should participate in what will possibly be a merged business. We keep having discussions but we would never comment on a specific instance".
Chorus already provides backhaul services to some mobile carriers. Demand for these services will increase as 5G networks carry much more data than today's 4G networks.
Smellie reported that outgoing Chorus chief executive, Kate McKenzie, says the company is not interested in retail telecommunications. She says: "The only things that are potentially interesting are things that fit with Chorus and you keep an open mind to those things."
Away from 5G, at Reseller News Rob O'Neill reports Strange warned the government about its regulatory settings. He says while the UFB project is coming to an end, other large infrastructure projects are coming with as much as $130 billion of investment needed. Some of this will need to come from private investors.
He says: "So New Zealand’s attractiveness to investors both locally and, most importantly, internationally will underpin the country’s ability to deliver this unprecedented infrastructure programme."
Strange told the meeting that overseas investors are watching the Chorus regulatory process.
He says: "If they sense that they are not going to get a fair return for the multi-billion dollar investment they made, a return that reflects the considerable risk they took and the long period they have waited for a return, this will be the last investment they and their investment community will make in New Zealand infrastructure - they have choices about where they put their money. We are competing with other nations for it."