Vodafone NZ launches 4K TV service to fibre customers

Kiwi subscribers will need to sign up for one or two-year contracts at an as-yet-unknown price.

(Image: Vodafone NZ)

Vodafone is asking New Zealanders to register their interest in its new TV service, dubbed Vodafone TV, which the company is touting as the first cloud-based 4K television service in the country.

It does come with a number of caveats: Pricing does not yet exist, although a one or two-year contract will have to be signed; not all content is available in 4K resolution; and not all customers have a fibre connection.

The upcoming Vodafone TV package will include unlimited broadband and access to Sky Basic channels, free-to-air channels, as well as Netflix and other catchup services.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Vodafone to enable our massive range of premium entertainment and live sports to be viewed on this innovative digital service for Vodafone fibre and FibreX customers," Sky chief executive John Fellet said. "This is an exciting next step in our long-standing commercial relationship with Vodafone."

The tie-up with Sky is not surprising given the two companies tried to merge last year before halting the transaction. In June 2016, it was announced that Sky would acquire all Vodafone NZ shares for a total purchase price of NZ$3.44 billion.

At the time the merger plans ended, the companies said they would continue to work together.

Earlier on Monday, New Zealand telco wholesaler Chorus announced that 73 percent of its fibre broadband connections were on plans of 100Mbps or higher, and its 50Mbps plans were reducing after the telco introduced gigabit-speed plans a year ago.

Chorus also said 62 percent of its connections were on unlimited data plans.

The New Zealand numbers are the inverse of those in Australia, with only 14 percent of fibre-to-the-premises customers on the nation's National Broadband Network signed up to a plan capable of speeds over 100Mbps.

For fibre-to-the-basement and fibre-to-the-node customers, only 12 and 8 percent of customers are signed up to plans offering speeds of 100Mbps or more, although it is unknown how many of those lines are capable of the speed.