Cross-network mobile costs coming down
Wed, 18 Jul 2012 8:34a.m.
By Dan Satherley
The Commerce Commission says more people are calling and texting friends and relatives on different mobile networks than they used to, and the cost of doing so is coming down.
The commission's fourth mobile monitoring report shows between February and April, cross-network traffic increased by 1.4 percent for calls and 1.6 percent for text messages.
The price for calling someone on a different network fell by 3.3 percent, and texting fell 6.8 percent.
In May 2011, regulation saw mobile termination rates – the fees each telecommunications company charges others to receive calls and text messages from their network – for calls drop from around 16 cents to 7.5 cents, and for text messages to just 0.06 cents.
Mobile termination rates will be gradually cut further until 2014, to allow telecommunications companies time to adjust.
“It’s pleasing to see a reduction in the price difference between calling people on the same network and those on other networks," says Dr Stephen Gale, telecommunications commissioner.
"This suggests that competition between the mobile operators is continuing to increase."
The commission will continue to monitor the mobile market.
"Since April, there has been a new entrant into the market – Skinny Mobile – and an announcement about the potential acquisition of TelstraClear by Vodafone. The commission will therefore continue to monitor the mobile market to assess the impact of these changes,” says Dr Gale.
Since 2009, the percentage of traffic going between networks, as opposed to staying on the same network, has increased from 9 percent to 23 percent.
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