Monday, 23 October 2017 12:25

Telstra says roaming decision 'best outcome for customers' Featured


Telstra has, unsurprisingly, welcomed the decision of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission not to declared mobile roaming.

The company's chief executive Andy Penn said in a statement that it was the best outcome for customers in regional areas.

In deciding not to declare mobile roaming, the ACCC said it had identified many regulatory and policy measures that would improve mobile phone coverage and poor quality of service in regional Australia.

Optus gave the decision a thumbs-up, while Vodafone said that too many Australians would continue to miss out as a result of the decision.

Said Penn: “Australia has world class telecommunications networks with strong incentives to invest and it was important to ensure that the policy settings continued to promote that investment."

He said it was important for regional communities because they were dependent on coverage and future technology innovation.

“Today’s announcement also continues to create a competitive environment to encourage others to invest as well. Telstra has always been a strong investor in regional Australia and leader in mobile telecommunications," Penn said.

“In August this year, we delivered on our promise to expand our 4G coverage to reach 99% of the population in 2017. As a result, Telstra now has more than 9000 mobile sites across the network. This includes 7300 4G sites, with more than 1100 of these upgraded to 4GX since the beginning of the year."

He said the company's 3G and 4G coverage together reached 99.4% of the population and covered 2.4 million square kilometres, including many areas not served by any other carrier.

“Today’s decision now paves the way for ongoing investments in coming years. Through our own direct investment, as well as co-investment, we expect to see up to $1 billion flow to small towns and regional centres across the country over the next five years," Penn added.

“We recognise that there are a number of regulatory and policy recommendations set out in the announcement aimed at addressing concerns raised during the consultation process. We will continue to work with government, industry, the ACCC and regional stakeholders on improving the experience we deliver our customers.“

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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