2 Degrees receives ComCom ticking-off on co-location

Regulator warns third mobile player that it has to take obligations seriously

The Commerce Commission has written to 2 Degrees in strong terms, requesting the mobile operator to take its regulatory obligations seriously, and to show due diligence in meeting existing and future ones. Commissioner Anita Mazzoleni says 2 Degrees has failed to make available to the regulator and any access seeker a populated Common Format Site Database, despite prompting. The database and other reporting requirements formed part of the Commission’s Mobile Co-Location Standard Terms Determination (STD) that was granted to 2 Degrees, then NZ Communications, on December 11 last year. 2 Degrees has also failed make any necessary enhancements to its operations support systems (OSS), the Commission notes, and asked the company to ensure it has complied with the obligations by Friday June 5. The Commission also says that an STD is “an enforceable matter” and that it can apply in the High Court for a pecuniary penalty in addition to other remedies if it is breached. However, in this case, the Commission says it doesn’t intend to take any further action. The regulator wishes to enforce that it expects access providers of regulated services such as mobile co-lo to take their obligations under STDs “seriously”. A spokeswoman for the Commerce Commission says 2 Degrees complied with the June 5 deadline. Saying it is “disappointed” in the number of co-locations completed to date, the Commission notes that very few have been achieved as part of 2 Degrees Tier 1 network build. This is despite 2 Degrees having stated during the STD process that it had budgeted for 200 co-locations by the end of 2008. Noting the emphasis placed by 2 Degrees on the importance of co-location during the STD negotiations, the Commission says it expected a far greater number of co-lo sites by now. 2 Degrees chief executive Mike Reynolds could not be reached for comment by Computerworld but told The Independent yesterday that he is blaming resource management constraints for 2 Degrees' failure to take up many co-locations. He said it has also proved difficult to put equipment on many Vodafone and Telecom towers because the equipment did not fit. Meeting the conditions in the mobile co-location determination has been costly for the access providers, mainly Telecom and Vodafone. Speaking for Vodafone, external communications manager Paul Brislen wouldn’t reveal how much money the UK-owned telco has had to come up with to comply with the STD, but estimates the total cost to the industry “in the millions, easily”. Brislen says that of the 200 co-location sites envisioned when the determination came out last year, only four have been populated by 2 Degrees so far. Telecom is party to the co-location STD, and spokesman Mark Watts says the company has allocated significant resources towards it. “We are disappointed that the anticipated volume of co-location requests has not eventuated,” Watts says. He adds that in Telecom’s view, the Resource Management Act constraints have probably been a factor in making large-scale co-location difficult to achieve for 2 Degrees.

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