The Commerce Commission announced on Tuesday that it would not go ahead with its investigation, saying the current rules on roaming regulation should stay in force, requiring the country’s three mobile network operators — 2degrees, Spark, and Vodafone — to provide wholesale access to their networks for a period of time to any new mobile network operator.
“This allows a new operator to attract customers by being able to offer immediate nationwide coverage while it builds its own network,” the Commission said in a statement.
“We believe the roaming opportunity remains relevant because it could help any new mobile business enter the market in the future, as it did when 2degrees launched. Submissions we received on this decision generally supported this view,” Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said.
Under New Zealand’s Telecommunications Act, the Commission is required to consider the deregulation of certain services, including national mobile roaming, once every five years.
Under the Act, network operators are only required to provide access to a new operator meeting certain conditions, including having a network of at least 100 cell sites or having a network that covers at least 10% of the New Zealand population, and having a rollout plan for at least 65% population coverage.
National roaming regulation does not regulate wholesale access for mobile virtual network operators.