Vodafone New Zealand finalised a three-year IT upgrade initiative which involved taking control of major systems from former parent Vodafone Group and on-shoring many customer service functions.

The country’s largest operator noted in a statement the move gives it more control over its staff and customer-facing IT systems, enabling more flexibility to support customers.

CEO Jason Paris said it brought most of its call centres back home and took full ownership of its retail stores earlier in the year.

He noted the IT programme, which included the migration of an enterprise resource planning system, is one part of the first phase of its transformation strategy.

Over the last three years, since moving to local ownership, Paris said it has invested nearly NZD1 billion ($607.7 million) to improve its networks, including introducing 5G service which has reached nine cities and regions.

He added: “We are now moving into the next phase of the Vodafone transformation strategy, which is about building on these foundations, differentiating even further on customer experience.”

The New Zealand operator, owned by Infratil and Brookfield Asset Management, closed Q2 with 2.5 million subscribers, while rival Spark had 2.4 million, data from GSMA Intelligence showed.