ACCC rejects HTA’s mobile interconnect proposals

26 Jun 2006

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has rejected proposals by Hutchison Telecommunications Australia (HTA) setting out prices and other terms and conditions for the termination of calls on its 2G and 3G networks. HTA submitted six such undertakings last November – three relating to calls terminating on its ‘3 CDMA’ CDMA IS-95 and CDMA2000 1x network infrastructure, and a further three covering the W-CDMA network of subsidiary Hutchison 3G Australia (H3G); the same set of charges were proposed for both networks. However, the Commission objected to HTA’s proposals that it would charge other mobile carriers an interconnection rate of AUD0.12 (USD0.09) per minute if they agreed to charge Hutchison the same rate in return; those that failed to agree would be charged AUD0.21. ‘The ACCC has rejected the undertakings because some of the terms and conditions are not reasonable,’ ACCC Commissioner Ed Willett said in a statement. He added that HTA had ‘sought to override the contractual terms of existing commercial agreements, which the ACCC has no jurisdiction over unless these terms fall within the ambit of the Trade Practices Act 1974’.