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Mobile review in line with expectations

Tuesday 10 October, 2006

Commerce Commission mobile review in line with expectations

Vodafone New Zealand says the Commerce Commission’s review into competition in the mobile market, released today is in line with its expectations.

The report advised that the Commerce Commission will investigate the mobile market to see if there is a need for further regulation of national roaming and co-location to promote mobile entry.

Regulatory Manager Hayden Glass says Vodafone is pleased with the Commission’s recognition that the mobile market is delivering for customers.

“The Commission recognises mobile penetration is high in New Zealand, there is active competition across handsets, network capabilities and service bundles, customers can easily switch networks, and the range and quality of mobile services is comparable with anywhere in the world. This is all good news.”

“The Commission wants to look at tweaking the existing regulation to ensure it assists entry in the best way possible, and we think it is helpful to have these issues explored. But the Commission is not saying that there is any need for major changes.”

“We have said for a long time that we are happy to work with new entrants into the mobile market on reasonable commercial terms and we have backed that up with wholesale deals which allow Orcon, M2 and Compass Communications to enter the mobile market by reselling Vodafone’s wholesale services.”

Mr Glass says Vodafone has standard terms and cost-based pricing, uses an industry-agreed process for co-location, has offered spectrum to a new entrant at a cost-based price, and its mobile termination rates are lower than those set by the UK regulator.

He says Vodafone was disappointed with the Commission’s analysis of mobile pricing because it had used data that doesn’t take into account the plans that are actually available to customers.

“Vodafone is leading prices in New Zealand down. Our prepay customers can talk for 20 cents a minute anytime of the day or night to anyone in New Zealand or 15 other countries. Txt is only 20 cents and entirely free on the weekend.”

“We continue to be confused as to why the Commission would use figures that ignore these standard offers. Nevertheless, we have committed to putting New Zealand into the top half of the OECD by 2010, and we have already seen substantial reductions in prices in the OECD figures in the last 12 to 18 months.”

Mr Glass says Vodafone has been working closely with the Commission during the review and will continue to do so to ensure it has all the necessary information.

ENDS


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