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NZ regulator moves on mobile rates

Telco authorities in New Zealand have recommended the regulation of mobile termination rates, rejecting voluntary undertakings from Vodafone and Telecom NZ.

Telco authorities in New Zealand have recommended the regulation of mobile termination rates, rejecting voluntary undertakings from Vodafone and Telecom NZ.

"The Commission considers that cost-based mobile termination rates, when compared to the offers in the undertakings, will better promote competition in the mobile market and will be in the best long term interest of end users," said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner.

Dr Patterson added that call plans, such as the now withdrawn Talk Add-on product from Vodafone, which gave on-net users 200 minutes for $12 a month, might seem beneficial to consumers, but actually make it harder for new telco entrants.

Today's Commerce Commission announcement overturns an earlier split recommendation for voluntary regulation, but the Talk Add-on product from Vodafone, with much reduced on-net pricing, fuelled many calls for regulation of mobile termination rates.

ICT Minister Steven Joyce has called for submissions on the Commerce Commission decision by 29 June and cross submissions by 6 July. However, no timeframe has been given as to when Minister Joyce will make his final decision on whether to regulate.

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