Chorus chief executive Kate McKenzie says she's open to the growing crossover between fixed and mobile telecommunications networks, which has seen the network operator lose connections to sometimes rival and customer Spark New Zealand.
The Wellington-based company has been experimenting with new technologies to repurpose existing assets, such as a trial with Network for Learning to extend a low decile school's managed internet service to local homes with wireless technology attached to its poles, and started on a proof of concept trial for a Long Range Wide Area Network to enable internet-of-things services.
"If you have a look at some of the trials we have been running, the thesis is that convergence is happening across fixed and mobile networks," Ms McKenzie told analysts in a conference call today. "We have an open mind to what opportunities that might present."
Chorus found itself at loggerheads with Spark last year when the retailer started aggressively pitching its fixed wireless hybrid service as a stronger alternative to the network company's copper-based services, including VDSL technology.
Spark's uptake has tracked ahead of expectations, with the retailer targeting 125,000 wireless connections by the end of June as it seeks to ditch its use of copper-based products by 2020.
Ms McKenzie said 125,000 sounds "more realistic" than a 200,000 projection touted as a possibility, with a fixed network offering data at a tenth of the price of wireless delivery.
Chorus posted a 29 per cent decline in profit to $47 million in the six months ended December 31 after customer connections dropped 7.1 percent to 1.56 million.
Improving customer experience is also a key goal, with Chorus wanting to reduce customer effort for a simple fibre connection to less than a day within the next 18 months.
The shares rose 1.1 per cent to $3.79.