Regulator drops probe after 2degrees, Vodafone cut deal
By Paul McBeth
Dec. 15 (BusinessDesk) – The Commerce Commission has dropped its probe into national mobile roaming services after phone operators Two Degrees Mobile Ltd. and Vodafone NZ Ltd. cut a deal for the minnow’s customers to access the rival network.
The regulator put its investigation on hold last year to complete its probe into mobile termination access services, and today said it was dropping the case after adequate commercial arrangements were put in place. National roaming is the ability for customers to make and receive calls on their phones while accessing rival network.
“The commission’s remaining concern in relation to national roaming was whether the levels of commercial rates available to Two Degrees Mobile Ltd. were a barrier to expansion,” Telecommunications Commissioner Ross Patterson said in a statement. “2degrees have now advised the commission that they have concluded alternative arrangements with Vodafone that enable 2degrees to carry out its business on a more equitable basis.”
The commission pursued the investigation as a result of its probe into mobile termination rates, an area that will be regulated, after saying it planned to align the two processes.
In separate releases, the regulator said it has set this year’s Telecommunications Service Obligation determinations though the residential service portion won’t be finalised until legal proceedings are completed, and it also extended local and mobile phone number portability for another six years.