Telecom New Zealand, the country's major telecommunications retailer, today assumes its new brand, becoming Spark New Zealand.
Managing Director Simon Moutter said the change marks the biggest step in the company’s recent transformation, and reflects huge industry changes and global shifts in communications.
“We now do much more than provide a copper line telephone service and we no longer own the fixed line network," he said "We’re into a whole raft of new technologies…business cloud services, data centres, Internet TV, whatever new is around the corner. The Telecom brand simply didn’t reflect this new world."
The company traded as Telecom New Zealand for 27 years after being spun out of NZ Post and privatised. More recently, the company's market power came under regulatory scrutiny and it was operationally separated in 2008.
That was a painful and not very successful shift and the company largely embraced structural separation from its network business, now called Chorus, in late 2011.
Moutter said the new Telecom has listened to customers, improved services and lowered prices "dramatically". It has introduced public WiFi zones, launched new Cloud services in part through the NZ$96.5 million acquisition of Revera last year.
It has also entered content marketes, including partnering with Spotify Premium and launching Internet TV services.
"But despite all these changes, we know many New Zealanders – particularly among the half of the population who are under 35, or those from more diverse backgrounds – think Telecom is ‘not for them’." Moutter said. "The same applies to former customers who may have left us many years ago."
The Spark shift will be a stimulus for new customers to "take another look", he said.
Behind the scenes a huge IT project is also under way stripping out many of the complexities introduced by operational separation, streamlining processes and making the company more customer focused.
The company’s business and IT services division, Gen-i, is also chaging brand, becoming Spark Digital.
Spark Home, Mobile and Business is the new name for Telecom Retail. It operates under the Spark and Spark Business brands.
Spark Wholesale is the new name for Telecom Wholesale and Spark Ventures is the new name for Telecom Digital Ventures.
The names of other business units such as cloud businesses Revera and AppServ, mobile business Skinny, big data unit Qrious; internet TV service Lightbox and Telecom New Zealand International, have not changed.