11 Feb 2013

Australia and NZ to regulate mobile roaming charges

The high cost of roaming in Australia and NZ should soon be a thing of the past, with the two governments set to regulate trans-Tasman mobile roaming rates and even intervene in the market pricing when necessary. Mobile roaming rates have been on the government radar since 2005, but only now has a real push been made to set things straight. A new report has found that the market is cornered by a small number of participants, with an average wholesale margin at 300%, and retail margins above 90%. The report also found that sending data could cost as high as $20 a megabyte, and phone calls as high as $8.50 per minute. At the moment, the ACCC is unable to resolve issues for Australian customers roaming in NZ, but with the introduction of the new legislation, the government body will be able to investigate and regulate prices as required. The first step will commence in New Zealand but other countries – particularly those in the European Union – will be next to develop this arrangement.