Commerce Commission expands mobile market study

Plans to release issues paper mid-year

The Commerce Commission has expanded the scope of its study into the mobile communications market, announced last October, following submissions expressing concerns with the current structure of the market.

The Commission has issued a paper detailing the scope for its study with Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale saying submissions to the terms of reference had called for the scope of the study to be broadened.

He said the aim of the study was to help regulatory efforts keep pace with the rapid changes in the way mobile services are being delivered and used.

According to the scoping paper “some submitters … highlighted potential issues with the current structure of the mobile markets, which in their view should form part of this study.”

The Commission said it agreed that in order to better understand future trends it also needed to better understand the current structure and performance of the mobile markets, and the resulting outcomes for consumers.

As a result, the study will now attempt to:

  • understand the current state of the market, including key events that have occurred, how well consumers are served, and the existence of any competition issues
  • identify upcoming key developments including 5G deployment and spectrum allocation, and how these might affect competition and consumer outcomes
  • identify and understand any potential obstacles to current or future market developments and factors affecting consumers’ ability to benefit from competition in mobile markets.

Submissions on the terms of reference were received from Vodafone, Chorus, InternetNZ, New Street Research, Spark, Trustpower, Vocus, WISPA New Zealand and Analysys Mason on behalf of Trustpower.

The Commission says it intends to publish an issues paper mid year.

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