Cautious response to Telecom offer

19 Aug 2005

Alternative telcos have reacted with caution to Telecom New Zealand’s announcement that it will reduce wholesale mobile rates. Paul Clarkin, director of operations at WorldxChange, told local newspaper the Dominion Post that he would prefer the telecoms commissioner to step in and regulate wholesale prices rather than see a unilateral move by Telecom. The country’s dominant operator says it plans to reduce wholesale charges by 30% over a five-year period, to NZD0.18 per minute from NZD0.26 per minute now. The regulator has recommended cuts of nearer 50% to see New Zealand’s tariffs brought into line with other developed markets. There are some positive aspects to Telecoms offer, however; its own reductions cover both 2G and 3G services, where the regulator’s recommendations were aimed solely at 2G networks. Telecom has also promised to pass price reductions directly on to customers, while this would be guaranteed in a regulated environment.

New Zealand