23 August, 2012
Trans-Tasman mobile roaming report released
The New Zealand and Australian Governments have today released a draft report on a joint investigation into trans-Tasman mobile roaming charges.
The report was released by Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams and her Australian counterpart, Senator Stephen Conroy, following a meeting between the Ministers in Canberra today.
The report forms part of an investigation into trans-Tasman mobile roaming services announced in April last year. It finds that government action is required to see prices for international roaming between New Zealand and Australia continue to fall.
“Most New Zealanders take their mobile phone, tablet or laptop with them when they travel to Australia, but many users do not know how much data they are using when making phone calls or accessing websites or emails.
“It is my expectation that New Zealanders at home and across the Tasman should be able to expect fair and equitable pricing and a clear understanding of the costs.
“New Zealanders have started to enjoy lower roaming prices recently, and there is no doubt that the pressure created by our joint investigation has been a key factor in this reduction,” Ms Adams says.
Senator Conroy says: “The joint investigation has provided a number of options for both governments to consider to put downward pressure on mobile prices, and so Australians and New Zealanders who use their mobile phone when travelling between our countries know what it will cost.”
Options suggested in the report to address the problem include regulation, requiring operators to enable roamers to use a local phone number without having to swap SIM cards, and price caps.
“Senator Conroy and I are seeking submissions on the report from users of roaming services, the telecommunications industry and other interested stakeholders,” Ms Adams says.
The draft report was prepared by the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation, and Australia’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
Once submissions have been fully considered, government officials will prepare a final report for Ms Adams and Senator Conroy.
The draft report and further information on the submission process are available at: www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/technology-communication/communications/mobile-phones/trans-tasman-roaming.
Submissions are invited on the joint Australia-New Zealand draft report by 27 September 2012.