NZ regulator stands by mobile access rules - Mobile World Live

NZ regulator stands by mobile access rules

27 SEP 2019

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission determined the country’s mobile market had become more competitive, declaring there was no need to introduce new regulations around wholesale access as a result.

Following a review, the regulator said the presence of three national operators and a growing number of MVNOs had boosted consumer choice. The rise in virtual operators highlighted there are no barriers in terms of wholesale access, obviating the need for specific directives.

In a statement, telecommunications commissioner Stephen Gale said: “Having assessed the state of competition in the mobile market, we haven’t identified any particular problems or structural issues that could be hampering competition.”

The commission highlighted the pending entry of Trustpower alongside existing MVNOs Vocus, Warehouse Mobile and Kogan as evidence of the robustness of the market.

However, Gale explained the body thinks “there is room for consumers to keep pressure on providers to compete harder on price and service quality. At the moment a lot of mobile customers tend to stick with their providers and are somewhat reluctant to switch even though they know it is easy to do so”.

Price comparisons
The study found 60 per cent of consumers say it is easy to compare plans, though 68 per cent rarely do so and 54 per cent haven’t switched providers in the past five years.

Other finding include ranking New Zealand eighth out of 88 countries for 4G speed, with more than 96 per cent of consumers having 4G coverage. Average mobile data usage per month more than doubled in the past two years, and prices for mobile services have been falling and compare well with other OECD countries.

The commission said Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees are all profitable and have collectively invested NZD2.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in their mobile networks over the past decade.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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