New Zealand-based mobile operator 2degrees and broadband provider Orcon Group agreed to combine their local operations, creating what they claim is the third-largest operator in the country with more than 1.5 million mobile and 345,000 fixed-line subscribers.

The merged company will have 1,800 mobile sites, offering 98.5 per cent population coverage.

The deal follows Macquarie Asset Management and Aware Super, owners of Vocus Group and its New Zealand subsidiary Orcon, signing an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of 2degrees from Trilogy International Partners (TIP) and Tesbrit BV.

Orcon CEO Mark Callander noted in a statement the tie-up marks “a step change in the New Zealand telecommunications landscape” and will establish a stronger player in market, which will lead to more competition and benefits to end-users.

2degrees CEO Mark Aue said over time the businesses will integrate, as the new company looks to offer more services to both new and existing customers.

The deal is expected to complete in the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.

In October 2021, 2degrees parent company TIP started merger discussions with Orcon Group.