The Commission on Friday released an issues paper calling for submissions on its initial assessment of the mobile market, being carried out under Section 9A of the Telecommunications Act 2001.
It says it is seeking evidence on how the market is performing for consumers now and whether there are any current or potential issues preventing it from delivering greater benefits for New Zealanders in the future – “issues that regulation might help resolve”.
Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said the mobile market study had been examining consumers’ ability to engage effectively with mobile service offerings, service providers’ ability to enter the mobile market, and how changes in technology may affect competition.
“We are also studying what affects the viability of new possible mobile providers – ranging from resellers like Vocus and Warehouse Mobile through to operators who might acquire spectrum and build new networks. One focus is why resellers, so-called ‘mobile virtual network operators’, have a much lower market share here than in other countries.
“Looking ahead, new mobile technologies like 5G will benefit consumers but we are checking whether their adoption by telecommunication companies may affect competition. One question is whether any potential new entrants will be able to access 5G spectrum. Another is whether existing regulation of mobile infrastructure sharing needs to be eased off or stepped up.”