ComCom decides against MTR regulation; 2degrees unhappy

22 Feb 2010

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission (ComCom) has delivered its final report on mobile termination rates (MTRs) to the Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce, recommending that the regulator approve proposed reforms by Telecom New Zealand and Vodafone rather than impose its own regulations on the industry. Vodafone New Zealand GM of corporate affairs Tom Chignell welcomed the decision, saying: ‘We have always preferred commercial outcomes to regulation. New Zealand’s rates are broadly in line with Europe’s rates already and through this, and the previous investigation, ComCom has managed to elicit massive voluntary reductions in termination rates for voice and SMS.’ However, New Zealand’s third operator in terms of subscribers, 2degrees spoke out against the decision, saying it would be hard for the operator to gain market share under the proposed rates. In a statement 2degrees added: ‘Today is a very disappointing day for New Zealand’s mobile users. After much delay, ComCom appears to have squandered a golden opportunity to finally bring New Zealand mobile prices into line with the rest of the developed world. We will now take some time to fully understand the recommendations and will put our detailed views to the minister Steven Joyce in due course.’