Mobile calls and texts from a phone using one network to another using a different one will be cheaper:
The Commerce Commission today released its decision on mobile termination rates – the cost of carrying a text or call on another network. There will be significant reductions in the wholesale termination rates for mobile calls and text messages. As a result of competitive pressure, the Commission anticipates that these reductions in the wholesale rates will flow through to the prices paid by the 4.7 million mobile subscribers in New Zealand in the coming year.
Termination rates for calls will drop to less than 4 cents by 1 April 2012, with further reductions until 2014. Termination rates for text messages will drop to 0.06 cents from 6 May 2011.
“These changes are intended to address significant competition problems in the wholesale mobile market which have resulted in high retail prices – particularly for prepay customers – a low number of mobile calls and high rates of people switching networks, compared to other countries,” said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner.
Cheaper but not necessarily cheap enough:
“However, we continue to be concerned about the extent to which the price of calls and text messages between people on different networks are significantly higher than calls and text messages between people on the same network. These price differences create significant barriers for the new entry and growth of small mobile operators in the mobile market,” said Dr Patterson.
While the Commission expects reduction in wholesale termination rates for calls and text messages to resolve this problem, it will be monitoring this situation closely, including publishing monthly reports, and is prepared to move quickly to limit these price differences if required.
The graduated reduction in termination rates for calls will allow mobile providers time to adjust retail rates. In providing this graduated reduction, or glide path, the Commission has sought to balance the benefits for consumers in terms of lower prices, while allowing mobile providers time to adjust retail prices.
New Zealand mobile rates are regarded as high by international standards and that’s the main reason people here text more than those in other countires.
The Commerce Commission ruling will bring the costs down although it may not be enough to encourage people to call instead of texting.
I don’t mind texts for short, simple messages which require short, simple responses. But I’m not among those whose first preference for communication is this method.