Australia’s competition watchdog will continue to regulate mobile terminating access service for another five years, but opted not to regulate business messaging.

In a final report outlining the findings of an inquiry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) explained some consumers continue to rely on traditional voice services, despite increasing use of app-based calling services.

It noted mobile terminating access is an essential wholesale service allowing consumers to make calls to people subscribed to different mobile service, requiring mobile operators to connect, or terminate, calls that are received from a different network.

ACCC commissioner Anna Brakey said the regulation of the service remains essential to promoting the competitive supply of traditional voice services to consumers.

The agency also decided to not regulate application-to-person SMS by mobile operators, but will closely monitor movements in wholesale and retail prices.

The report stated that while the use of personal SMS has declined due to the popularity of messaging apps, the use of business messaging has grown significantly in recent years and is likely to continue.

“At this point in time, we are not satisfied the regulation of application-to-person SMS services is in the long-term interest of Australians as it is unclear whether regulation is likely to promote competition and efficiency,” Brakey said.

She explained the prices mobile operators charge each other for terminating application-to-person SMS has risen significantly, but wholesale and retail prices more broadly have not increased.

“We remain concerned about the potential for prices to go up, which could cause significant impacts for businesses and their customers,” she said, adding should there be significant price increases, it will consider regulatory intervention.