May 12, 2021

TangataWhenua.com

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Mobile phone rates set to decrease, thanks to 2degrees and Maori!

3 min read

Todays decision to regulate Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) is a win for consumers, opening the door to greater competition and even better deals for New Zealand consumers and businesses.

2degrees Chief Executive Officer Eric Hertz says the decision by Communications Minister Steven Joyce is a boost for competition.

When 2degrees entered the market we cut standard prepay rates in half. Yesterday, we celebrated our first birthday by launching our 3G network, announcing plans that make mobile broadband affordable. Certainty around mobile termination rates gives us increased confidence as we plan further network investment, sign leases for stores and prepare to offer pay monthly plans, says Eric.

2degrees is also encouraged by the message the decision sends to the industry.

Excessive mobile termination rates have held competition back for more than a decade. All OECD countries, except Mexico, regulate MTRs and this decision will bring New Zealand into line with international best practice.

Background

  1. In November 2008 the Commerce Commission commenced its investigation into whether mobile termination rates (MTRs) (the toll networks charge each other to terminate calls on their network) should be regulated.
  2. The Commission provided its Final Report to the Minister in February 2010 after an extensive consultation process recommending acceptance of commercial undertakings offered by Vodafone and Telecom as an alternative to regulation.
  3. The Commission reconsidered its recommendation following a request from the Minister to consider the impact of any new retail plans on the Commissions recommendation and provided a final Reconsideration Report to the Minister recommending regulation of MTRS on 16 June 2010.
  4. Following further consultation, the Minister today accepted the Commissions recommendation by announcing regulation.
  5. Mobile termination access services (as they are formally known) will now be added as a regulated service to Schedule 1 of the Telecommunications Act. Once this takes effect the Commerce Commission will commence a ‘standard terms determination process’ to establish the prices and other terms which mobile network operators must offer to other network operators for mobile termination services. The standard terms determination process can take several months.
  6. Excessive MTRs are universally recognised as resulting in higher retail prices for consumers, lower usage, and reduced competition.
  7. MTRs have been regulated in all OECD countries bar Mexico and New Zealand and todays decision brings New Zealand into line with international best practice on this issue.

About Maori and 2dgrees (He Whakapapa)

Te reo Maori was the paramount focus of Waitangi Tribunal claims to Government, from which came the recognition of Maori as an official language.

Alongside that fight was the right for Maori to develop platforms to communicate te reo, creating the development of the iwi radio network (23 stations), Maori Television Service and enabling a provision for Maori to develop in spectrum (i.e. cellphones, wireless, digital TV), anticipating the digital age.

Te Huarahi Tika Trust purchased commercial spectrum and partnered with other visionary Maori investors to develop digital opportunities. This led to working alongside NZ Communications and from this relationship came 2degrees. Te Huarahi Tika Trust currently own 13% of 2degrees on behalf of all Maori.

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