Commission retains power to regulate national mobile roaming
Published04 Sep 2018
The Commerce Commission has decided not to start an investigation into whether national mobile roaming should be deregulated.
Roaming regulation requires the country’s three mobile network operators – 2degrees, Spark, and Vodafone – to provide wholesale access to their networks for a period of time to any new mobile network operator. This allows a new operator to attract customers by being able to offer immediate nationwide coverage while it builds its own network.
“We believe the roaming opportunity remains relevant because it could help any new mobile business enter the market in the future, as it did when 2degrees launched. Submissions we received on this decision generally supported this view,” Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.
Under the Telecommunications Act, the Commission is required once every 5 years to consider the deregulation of certain services, including national mobile roaming.
The Commission’s full reasons for its decision can be found here.
The roaming provision in the Telecommunications Act requires the country’s three mobile network operators – Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees – to provide wholesale access to their networks for a period of time to any new mobile network operator.
Network operators are only required to provide access to a new operator meeting certain conditions; including having a network of at least 100 cell sites or having a network that covers at least 10% of the New Zealand population, and having a rollout plan for at least 65% population coverage. National roaming regulation does not regulate wholesale access for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
The Commission recently released an issues paper looking into the wider mobile telecommunications market in New Zealand. The issues paper can be found here.