Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Communications and Information Technology
27 May 2010 Media Statement
Have your say on trans-Tasman mobile roaming rates
Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce today released a discussion document on trans-Tasman mobile roaming.
The discussion document has also been released in Australia by Mr Joyce’s counterpart – Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Minister Senator Stephen Conroy.
“New Zealanders have expressed concern that the prices charged for international mobile roaming, and in particular data charges, are excessive and that pricing transparency and consumer awareness of prices is low – leading to ‘bill shock’,” says Mr Joyce.
“With the greatest volume of roaming traffic occurring between New Zealand and Australia – approximately one million visitors travel annually from each country to the other – it is appropriate that we look at that market.”
The document sets out three preliminary conclusions for New Zealanders roaming in Australia and Australians roaming in New Zealand:
• the features offered and the quality of service are reasonable
• the transparency of prices appears to be inadequate and consumer awareness of prices seems low
• the prices themselves seem relatively high.
”Trans-Tasman mobile roaming has the potential to bring great benefits, on a personal level for individuals wanting to stay connected, and on an economic level for companies doing business across the Tasman. However these benefits will not be fully realised if the market is not functioning efficiently,” says Mr Joyce.
“The government is therefore keen to hear the views of users of roaming services, the telecommunications industry and other interested stakeholders.”
Feedback is invited on the discussion document by Friday 2 July 2010.
Copies of the document and further information on the submission process are available from the Ministry of Economic Development website at www.med.govt.nz/ttr.