ACCC launches inquiry on MTAS declaration

28 May 2013

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced the launch of a public inquiry which it has said will help it decide whether to extend, vary or revoke the existing domestic mobile terminating access service (MTAS) declaration, or whether to make a new declaration. Commenting on the launch of the inquiry, the regulator’s chairman, Rod Sims, said: ‘Network quality and performance have become important considerations for consumers choosing a mobile provider. This inquiry will examine the impact of changes to the wholesale termination services and whether regulation is needed to ensure that consumers can connect with other networks.’

In detailing its plans for examining the matter, the ACCC noted that it is seeking submissions on a number of factors, including: whether any substitute services for the MTAS or fixed to mobile calls exist, particularly considering the development of voice-over-IP (VoIP) services; whether continued declaration of the MTAS will still promote competition in the relevant markets; whether continued declaration will promote the efficient use of, and investment in, infrastructure; whether SMS and MMS should also be declared; and whether voice services provided over LTE networks should also be covered by the MTAS service description.

A submissions deadline of 5 July 2013 has been set by the ACCC, and it has said it will subsequently issue a draft decision for public consultation before it reaches a final decision on the matter.