Telecom changes its name to Spark

Telecom intends to change its name later this year to Spark, marking the next step in a series of far-reaching changes the company has made during the past year.

Telecom Chief Executive Simon Moutter says Spark better reflects the company’s new direction and the aspirations it has for its place in the life of New Zealanders.

“As a company we’ve moved far beyond the home telephone,” he says. “Spark better represents what we are today – it is all about digital services, fibre, mobile, data, cloud, entertainment, apps, or whatever new technology is around the corner.

“Spark is a word that has life and energy, and links to the creativity of New Zealanders, the modern tech economy and our desire to enable our customers to thrive. It will carry with it our widely recognised logo, which is generally referred to as the ‘spark’.”

The change was announced as part of Telecom’s half-year results, which showed the company gaining 200,000 mobile customers in the past 12 months and announcing a new cutting edge internet-delivered TV and movie service called ShowmeTV.

“The upcoming launch of ShowmeTV offers all New Zealanders an exciting new choice about how to get their home entertainment, which we think represents the future of how people will access content,” Moutter adds.

“It’s a great example of how this company is changing by delivering the sorts of new services our customers want,” said Mr Moutter.

Last year, Telecom undertook a number of bold steps, including:

· launching its 4G mobile data network, available to its customers at no extra charge – and underpinned by a brand-new core data network using state-of-the-art optical transport technology;

· revamping phone booths into a nationwide network of public WiFi hotspots to give customers even better connections when out and about, and enhance the value of mobility solutions for business clients;

· launching new generation Ultra Fibre services on the government-supported Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network, and faster VDSL broadband over the existing copper network for customers not connected to UFB;

· through its Gen-i unit, becoming a leader in Cloud services for business and government customers, purchasing IT infrastructure and data centre specialist Revera and building new data centres in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin;

· winning the contract to build a 21st century online educational platform for New Zealand schools to maximise the digital opportunities created by the UFB rollout under the Government’s Network for Learning initiative;

· using digital technology to encourage Kiwi generosity and revolutionise the giving sector –creating New Zealand’s first zero-fees online fundraising platform for charities and worthy causes through the Telecom Foundation’s purchase of fast-growing local startup Givealittle;

· committing a further $149 million to become the biggest player in the newly available 700 MHz band radio spectrum, enhancing the efficient rollout of 4G mobile data services to rural New Zealand.

· exiting the Australian market to focus on building a better technology future for New Zealand.

“We’re operating at a faster pace than in the past and we have to appeal to a broader range of customers in a competitive market place,” Moutter adds.

“Our successful initiatives in 4G mobile, fibre, WiFi, cloud services and applications have given us new momentum.

“When we embarked on this journey, we knew that at some point we would likely move beyond the Telecom name – to something that better reflects what our customers expect from us.

“Last year we gave our mass-market brand a colour and style refresh to reflect the changes we had already made as a business – and customers have responded positively.

“We’ve now decided to take the next step. We believe Spark symbolises what we are now – a confident, forward-looking technology company that helps people to connect, engage and share their lives in amazing ways, and helps businesses to compete and prosper in the digital age.

“Spark will be the new face of our company, focused on ensuring that everyone can live, work and play in more amazing ways. In the city, at the beach, at home, on the farm. From Otara to Otorohanga, from Omaha to Oamaru.”

Spark Digital Solutions will be the new name for Gen-i, providing solutions for the rapidly evolving needs of business, enterprise and government clients as they meet the demands of an increasingly globalised, connected and mobile customer base.

Spark Ventures will be the new name for Telecom Digital Ventures and will be focused on accelerating the company’s future focus, delivering connected digital experiences that customers love and applications such as Smart Data analytics that will power tomorrow’s successful businesses.

Spark New Zealand Limited is intended to be the new name for the parent company, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited.

Until the name change takes place later this year, the company will continue to trade as Telecom and Gen-i.

“Technology-enabled digital services are changing the world,” Moutter adds. “We will have succeeded when Spark is seen as an indispensable part of people’s everyday life and we are helping to unleash New Zealand’s potential.”

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