TUANZ pushes Joyce on mobile termination

Regulate or return the recommendation, says user group CEO

TUANZ is keeping the pressure on ICT minister Steven Joyce in the lead-up to a final decision on whether to regulate mobile termination rates (MTRs).

In a submission to the minister, TUANZ CEO Ernie Newman gives three reasons for disagreeing with the two commerce commissioners who recommended against regulation and in favour of accepting further undertakings from Vodafone and Telecom.

TUANZ says accepting the undertakings will "legitimise ongoing market distortions". Newman writes that mobile access is "by far the most distorted and dysfunctional market remaining in the telecommunications industry".

See also: ComCom split on mobile termination regulation
He argues that the current regime allows the two dominant players to stamp out competition. Further, competition is weakened by the regionality of the market, with Vodafone dominating in Auckland and Telecom in the south, forcing new customers to follow the lead of their friends to gain the benefit of "on-net" rates.

Newman writes that such a situation would never be countenanced in a fixed line market.

TUANZ also disagrees with the weight given by the commissioner's to the deeds given under the Labour government in 2006, which it describes as "flawed in both process and logic". While the investment decisions of the incumbents have been given strong consideration, TUANZ argues that investments made by new entrants, such as 2degrees and mobile virtual network operators, should be given more weight.

Thirdly, TUANZ argues that commissioner Patterson has put too much weight on protecting the undertakings regime.

TUANZ calls on Joyce to add mobile termination access services as a designated service — in other words, to regulate them. Alternatively, the user group; suggests the minister sends the matter back to the Commerce Commission for further consideration.

MTRs are the charges telcos make between themselves for terminating calls on their networks.

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Tags mobile terminationTUANZNetworking & Telecomms ID

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