In a final determination issued yesterday, the Commerce Commission of New Zealand has confirmed its decision to extend the existing arrangement for local and mobile number portability (LMNP) for a further six years. On 31 August 2005 the Commission issued an initial determination on LMNP multi-network services, but this determination was set to expire on 19 December this year. The new draft determination continues the standards and systems set out in the original determination, extending portability requirements until December 2016. Telecommunications Commissioner Dr. Ross Patterson commented: ‘Recent figures released by the Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum (TCF) show that half a million consumers have ported their numbers since number portability was introduced in April 2007, with 170,000 numbers ported in the last year. Number portability enhances competition in telecommunications by allowing customers to easily change providers while keeping their existing telephone number. This saves them the inconvenience, time and expense of updating all their friends, family and colleagues of new contact details every time they change providers. These issues can have a major impact on people’s decision to switch service providers’.
In other news, the Commerce Commission has agreed to drop its probe into national mobile roaming services after cellcos 2degrees and Vodafone New Zealand agreed a deal for 2degrees’ customers to access Vodafone’s network. The regulator has indicated that it is dropping its investigation after adequate commercial arrangements were put in place. Dr. Patterson confirmed: ‘The Commission’s remaining concern in relation to national roaming was whether the levels of commercial rates available to Two Degrees Mobile Ltd. were a barrier to expansion. 2degrees has now advised the Commission that it has concluded alternative arrangements with Vodafone that enable 2degrees to carry out its business on a more equitable basis’.