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Mobile Investigation Will Help Deliver Competition

Tuesday October 10, 2006

Mobile Investigation Will Help Deliver Competition

The investigation into national mobile roaming and co-location of cellular equipment is a real boost for new entrants into the New Zealand mobile market.

TelstraClear Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth has welcomed today's announcement by the Commerce Commission to begin an investigation which will lead to certainty around key services required by new entrants.

"By next July we will be in the mobile market via our Tauranga Unplugged service. The ability to co-locate equipment on cell sites and carry calls beyond Tauranga via a national roaming agreement are key factors in the project's success," says Dr Freeth.

"Although the Commerce Commission investigation will take some time, the fact that it is happening provides TelstraClear with significant confidence as we progress with a $50m investment based on mobile technology," he says.

Dr Freeth says the decision to consider price and non-price terms is an important one given ambiguities in the Telecommunications Act.

"Investment requires certainty. The Act currently refers to a network rollout covering 10 per cent before roaming is possible and it is silent on pricing. These issues have a strong bearing on what new entrants can achieve."

Dr Freeth says the investigation is a sensible move following the Government's announcements around fixed-line competition, released in May this year.

"The Government has signalled that it wants competition across all sectors. Unbundling and an improved wholesale market will help deliver that in fixed line, with certainty around roaming and co-location doing the same for new mobile players," he says.

ENDS

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