SMS termination fees targeted in Australia

Michael Carroll
17 Dec 2013

Australia’s competition watchdog is proposing SMS termination fees amid fears operators are running a wholesale monopoly.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) detailed plans to regulate SMS termination rates for the first time in a draft of a five year review into mobile terminating access services. The ACCC claims similar regulation of call termination fees has improved competition and cut costs for consumers, and plans to continue to control call costs in the five years from 2014 to 2019.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, says the association included the SMS proposals due to concerns “mobile network operators may be exercising monopoly power over access to their networks to keep wholesale SMS rates significantly above costs.

“Our preliminary view is that regulating SMS termination will address the use of monopoly power and promote competition in the mobile sector.”

The ACCC’s proposals for market regulation are now open for public consultation until mid-February.

A separate review of fixed line wholesale regulations proposes little or no changes to current arrangements covering access to incumbent Telstra’s copper network, other fixed line infrastructure and transmission routes.

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