Friday, 31 August 2018 11:34

Commerce Commission has NZ mobile market under the microscope

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Commerce Commission has NZ mobile market under the microscope Image courtesy of AMBRO at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Zealand’s competition regulator, The Commerce Commission, is undertaking a study on the performance of the country’s mobile market and delivery of services to consumers.

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.

“On the consumer side, as an example, we have been examining how easily New Zealanders can compare retail offers, identify which mobile plan best suits their needs, and then switch to their preferred plan or provider. We are keen to hear from the industry and consumers on whether improvements can be made,” he said.

“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.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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