Cell phone charges set to drop
Wed, 04 Aug 2010 6:12p.m.
By Simon Shepherd
Mobile phone charges look set to come down, following a Government decision to regulate cross-network calls.
The price companies charge each other could drop by up to 14 cents a call, but it's up to them to decide how much of that they pass on to consumers.
Phoning a friend on another network has always cost more, prepaid rates can reach 89 cents a minute.
Eighteen cents of that cost is what's called the Mobile Termination Rate (MTR).
“Besides Mexico, New Zealand is the only country that hasn't regulated MTRs,” says Sue Chetwin of Consumer NZ.
“Ours have been coming down but are still high.”
Currently networks charge each other about 18 cents to connect. In Australia its 6 cents a minute and dropping. In the UK it's 4 pence and heading to 1 p.
“Vodafone and Telecom had promised to bring them down, but now the Government is stepping in,” says Guy Hallwright, an analyst for Forsyth Barr.
Communications Minister Steven Joyce says 2 Degrees have been lobbying for regulation on MTRs since entering the market.
Eric Hertz, of 2 Degrees, says the company’s competitors are not happy.
“Vodafone and Telecom both say they're disappointed the Government wouldn’t accept an industry solution, which they claim would have delivered lower prices sooner,” he says.
The new regulated rate will set by the Commerce Commission next year.
It is previously recommended about 4 cents a minute, 14 cents less than the current price.
But it's up the telcos to decide whether they pass it on
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6/07/2011 1:36:08 p.m.
Phoning a friend on another network has always cost more, prepaid rates can reach 89 cents a minute--wrong!i've got charged for $1.99 for only 1 second not so long ago.it was only an accident,i did not mean to call my friend and hang up right away.i've already left vodafone and will be out of telecom soon for feeling too disappointed in them,because of their money making scheme that all countries despise.i wonder why the govt has not wanted to regulate it till now and let them drop as less as they like that's just not right and it's an insult!we've been taking that insult for far too long,don't you think so? it can't even compare with what australia and uk are charging now,not to mention they are dropping to close to nothing.if it's up to them to decide how much to drop that could well be just 1 cent.
10/11/2010 8:09:45 p.m.
it's a shock to learn that calling another network on prepaid rates is only 89 cents a minute, as a few weeks ago i was charged for $1.3 something for just one second! the call was just a mistake and i hung up right away, but the staff told me that it was simply because i'm on prepaid and called another network. translation: i deserved the expensive "punishment" for making even a mistake call for even just one second, as i was not "loyal" to them! it's been a "crime" to call another network here with "punishment". wonder why the gov't has been so reluctant to regulate the MTRs and let companies decide how much of that 14 cents drop would be willing to pass on to consumers.
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