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Commission probes mobile calls

By Paul McBeth

Thursday 6th November 2008

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The Commerce Commission will investigate whether mobile termination access, the terms of network-to-network calls and messages should be regulated.

The regulator, which has previously probed fixed-line to mobile calls, said developments in the mobile market required a new investigation.

“The commission considers that there are reasonable grounds to commence an investigation into mobile termination,” said Paula Rebstock, chair of the regulator, in a statement. “Recent monitoring has shown improvements in telecommunications services as a result of increased competition, and we look forward to seeing similar improvements in the mobile market.”

Shares of Telecom, which together with Vodafone Group dominates New Zealand’s mobile market, dropped 2.5% to $2.30 and have slumped 45% this year. The commission also plans to look into prices charged for mobile access to internet services.

The Commission said mobile termination rates are “significantly above” the cost of providing inter-network calling and messaging, which may create a barrier for new entrants into the market.

Submissions of support for the investigation came from Kordia, CallPlus, Orcon, Whoosh, TelstraClear, NZ Communications, and TUANZ.

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