AU, NZ govts moving on trans-Tasman roaming

eGov Innovation Editors
Daily News

The governments of Australia and New Zealand have released a joint draft report that finds operators are making excessive profits from trans-Tasman mobile roaming charges.

“The draft report makes it clear that telecommunications companies are stinging consumers on trans-Tasman mobile roaming charges and that their profit margins are excessive,” Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said in the joint news release.

The report in the New Zealand government website said the joint investigation has provided a number of options for both governments to consider to put downward pressure on mobile prices so that Australians and New Zealanders who use their mobile phone when travelling between the two countries are fully aware of the cost.

These options include improving pricing transparency, using legislation to allow roamers to become local end-users, unbundling roaming services so people can use one network for domestic communications and a different network for trans-Tasman roaming, and introducing wholesale and retail price caps.

"New Zealanders have started to enjoy lower roaming prices recently, and the draft report shows that the pressure created by our joint investigation has been a key factor in this reduction," New Zealand Minister for Communications and Information Technology Hon. Amy Adams MP said.

The draft report, which was prepared by the Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation, said a new standard is expected to be in place within 12 months.

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