Mobile roaming allows customers of one mobile network to use another network when they are outside their own provider’s coverage area.
The Commission has the power to require the country’s three mobile network operators: Spark, Vodafone, and 2Degrees to provide wholesale access to their networks for a period of time to any new network operator. This regulation would enable a new operator to quickly expand its coverage beyond its own initial physical network.
“National mobile roaming helped 2Degrees deliver a nationwide service for its customers from day one, in advance of rolling out its own national network infrastructure. We believe the power to regulate remains an important competition safeguard, especially with 5G networks and potential new entrants on the horizon,” Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.
Under the Telecommunications Act, the Commission is required once every 5 years to consider the deregulation of certain services, including national mobile roaming.
We expect to release our final decision on 4 September 2018.
Our preliminary views paper can be found here.