[LINK] Roaming charges discussion paper

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu May 27 23:03:58 AEST 2010

Australia-NZ roamers ripped off? 

Have your say:


(Submissions close on Friday 2 July 2010)

"New report suggests trans-Tasman roaming costs are excessive"

by Tim Lohman (Computerworld) 27th May, 2010 <www.computerworld.com.au>

The lack of public transparency around the prices charged for mobile 
roaming between Australia and New Zealand is leading to ‘bill shock’ for 
consumers, a new industry discussion paper claims.

The Trans-Tasman mobile roaming paper, put together by the Ministry of 
Economic Development in New Zealand, and the Department of Broadband, 
Communications and the Digital Economy in Australia, is seeking public 
and industry comment on this as it seeks to address what is believed to 
be a degree of market failure on mobile roaming.

“The prices appear to be above, and the pricing transparency and consumer 
awareness below, those which might prevail in a competitive market,” the 
paper reads.

“The retail analysis undertaken by the [government] Agencies provides 
some evidence of market failure… However, more information and further 
analysis is required for the Agencies to conclude that this is indeed the 
case. “

The departments are calling on the public and industry to express their 
views on trans-Tasman roaming charges and the provide feedback on whether 
other services are suitable substitutes for mobile roaming.

The paper also claims that, despite the massive uptake of mobile devices 
in both countries, the issue of mobile roaming fees have received little 
examination, with no regulator or government agency in Australia or New 
Zealand previously considering the trans-Tasman mobile roaming market in 

“Increasingly, the ability to communicate regardless of location is seen 
as an essential business tool and a necessity for individual travellers," 
the paper reads.

“International mobile roaming (IMR) customers within Australia and New 
Zealand have raised concerns about the quality and charges of services 
provided to them, and some operators have raised concerns about the 
wholesale prices they face in the trans-Tasman market.”

On top of reducing the cost of mobile roaming charges, the departments 
said that resolving roaming issues also played an important role in 
facilitating a ‘single economic market’. 

“The concept of a trans-Tasman Single Economic Market first emerged at 
government-to-government level in 2004,” the paper reads. “Ultimately, 
the long-term aim is to have a seamless trans-Tasman business environment 
in which it is as easy for Australian and New Zealand companies to do 
business in the other country as it is at home.

“This will enhance the ability of Australia and New Zealand to increase 
national productivity, maintain and drive job creation and foster 
international competitiveness.” 

The report can be viewed online:



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