Sunday, 11 August 2019 21:08

Proposed changes to mobile roaming services regulation expected for 2020 introduction: ACMA Featured

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Proposed changes to the regulation of international mobile roaming (IMR) services will come into effect in the Australian telecoms sector in January next year under draft changes put forward by the telecommunications regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The ACMA says in a statement that it anticipates making the determination on roaming services in October this year, with commencement of the regulation on 1 January 2020.

The ACMA is now seeking industry and public comment on the proposed changes to the IMR regulations, including an ACMA draft service provider determination that is proposed to replace an existing industry standard.

The proposed changes reflect the outcomes of the ACMA's 2018 review of the standard – with the Authority stressing that the proposed schedule would give telecoms providers a minimum two-month transition period to prepare for full compliance with the determination.

The ACMA lists seven key proposed changes as:

  1. 1. Enabling a broader range of devices to benefit from IMR protections (for example, tablets).
    2. Ensuring providers offer additional non-SMS communication options to customers (for receiving IMR-related notifications).
    3. Giving providers increased flexibility on the wording of IMR message content.
    4. Where a customer has been sent an IMR message that contains charging information applicable to multiple countries, the provider won’t have to resend the same information when the customer travels to another country covered by that same message within 14 days.
    5. Ensuring IMR customers are made aware earlier of the charges that will apply once they have used up any included value in their mobile plan.
    6. Changing the definition of ‘consumer’ to now include a business that has or will have an annual spend with a provider of no greater than $40,000.
    7. Replacing the term ‘nominal fee’ with a specific amount equal to $1.00.

The ACMA proposed changes - to facilitate the administrative change from an industry standard to a determination – have been approved for consultation by Department of Communications and the Arts and approved and the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts.

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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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