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National mobile roaming decisions announced

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister for Communications and Information Technology

8 May 2008 Media Statement

National mobile roaming decisions announced

Communications and Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe today announced two decisions relating to Commerce Commission proposals in respect of national mobile telephone roaming.

The Minister has accepted the Commission’s recommendation to amend the terms of the national roaming service, but has reserved his decision relating to the Commission’s view that the service should not be subject to price regulation.

Under the Telecommunications Act 2001, the Minister may accept, reject or require the Commission to reconsider its recommendations.

“In exercising this responsibility, I must determine whether the Commission’s recommendations best promote competition in telecommunications markets for the long-term benefit of end users,” Mr Cunliffe said.

“The amendments to the terms of the national roaming service are expected to provide greater investment certainty with the addition of an alternative roll-out requirement of 100 cell sites, while access seekers will be able to tap into 3G services as well as 2G, giving consumers more choice.”

Mr Cunliffe has reserved his decision on the Commerce Commission’s recommendation that national roaming should remain a “specified” service (meaning it is subject to non-price regulation only) rather than becoming a “designated” (price-regulated) service.

“I will be reserving my decision in order to seek clarification from key parties as to how well current roaming arrangements, some of which are very recent, are functioning on the ground.”

Copies of the Commission’s report can be downloaded from its website,


National roaming enables customers of “access seekers”, such as New Zealand Communications (itself a customer of an “access provider”, such as Vodafone) to tap into networks outside the access seeker’s service area.


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