Fibre broadband retailers could have a new and more profitable service to sell after Chorus launched its Hyperfibre service broadly today.
Hyperfibre, which has been available in limited areas, is now available across the entirety of Chorus’ UFB1 network, putting it within reach of around 75 per cent of Kiwis.
With a faster speed, customers had a propensity to pay more and that meant more revenue for retail partners, said Chorus CEO JB Rousselot.
More retailers are also expected to take up the new product.
So far, Hyperfibre had been offered by smaller specialist retail service providers, but Rousellot said while larger players had a keen interest, they would take a bit longer to arrive as they had to rebuild back end systems to sell the service.
While user numbers were low, Chorus was happy with adoption so far, Rousselot said, because the trial was really about showcasing the technology’s capability.
“It’s less about how many we are going to be signing up over the next month, or six months or a year, and more about explaining to people that fibre has a roadmap that doesn’t stop at one Gbit/s,” he said.
“It’s already at 2Gbit/s and 4Gbit/s and soon we’ll be launching 8Gbit/s.”
Fibre now has a roadmap running up to 25Gbit/s, Rousselot said. When married with the new version of Wi-Fi, version 6, it would also make hyperspeed service mobile within the home or business.
Some mobile operators are challenging fibre providers by pushing fixed wireless services to the home using their existing mobile networks
Mobile providers have a significant incentive: they make more money by eliminating the wholesale charges they would otherwise pay to Chorus and the local fibre companies.
Chorus’ Hyperfibre investment totalled around $7.5 million so far, covering deployment of Hyperfibre line cards plus the development of systems and tools to support the roll-out.
Rousselot said some consumers as well as businesses were also expected to appreciate the service as their need for speed increased.
“Today, 1Gbit/s is already 17 per cent of our connected base on fibre and 20 per cent to 25 per cent of orders,” he said.
“If you had asked me two or three years ago whether there would be that many consumers that were ready to buy a 1Gbit/s connection I would have said I’m not sure it would be there.
“We’re on a natural evolution and people discover usage as the speed is made available to them. The moment they go on fibre they discover many more uses they didn’t know about before.”