28 November 01
Telecommunications Mobile Regulations “Unnecessary”
Vodafone Pacific today criticised the planned regulation of the mobile phone industry that will result in a “brake on telecommunications development in New Zealand”.
Vodafone Pacific General Manager Regulatory Affairs, Peter Stiffe, said the further regulation proposed in the Supplementary Order Paper released last week relating to mobile roaming, was unnecessary.
“There is no need for this regulation. There have been no commercial disputes over mobile roaming access. Even if there were to be any problems in the future, the Telecommunications Bill already sets out a reasonable process for managing specification of services.
He said the case for regulating mobile roaming, a policy which forces telecommunication companies to allow competitors to use their networks, had not been proven.
“By choosing to regulate 2G national roaming, New Zealand is well out of step with most other countries in the world,” Mr Stiffe said.
“Regulation designed solely to allow Zimbabwean-based ECONET to use our network is an unusual and short-sighted use of political power. ECONET has not even bothered to come and talk to us about what it wants. It seems to be relying on Government regulation to prop up its business case,” said Mr Stiffe.
“While the Government says that these changes are designed to foster competition, the new regime puts in doubt future investment and will not achieve the Government’s stated aim of encouraging serious new players into the mobile market.
“The costs of this legislation will be borne by the industry and consumers,” Mr Stiffe said.