Commerce Commission receives revised undertakings from Telecom
11 February 2010
The Commerce Commission has been informed by Telecom that they will be providing revised undertakings in relation to the Commission's investigation into mobile termination rates. While the undertakings have not yet been received, Telecom has indicated that their revised undertakings will align the commencement dates for mobile termination rate reductions with the dates in Vodafone's undertakings.
"The Commission will now assess this new information as part of the Commission's final report to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology. I do not anticipate that this will affect the delivery of the report to the Minister, which I expect to be by the end of February," said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner.
Vodafone's undertakings, provided to the Commission in December 2009, had a commencement date of 1 October 2010 for when mobile termination rates would reduce. Telecom has indicated that their revised undertakings would change their proposed commencement date for reductions from 1 April 2010 to 1 October 2010 to bring them into line with Vodafone.
The Commission will be making no further comment before providing its final report to the Minister on whether the Commission will recommend that mobile termination services should be regulated, and, if so, whether any of Telecom and/or Vodafone's undertakings should be recommended for acceptance in lieu of regulation.
The revised undertakings from Telecom will available on the Commission's website.
MTAS Investigation. On 6 November 2008 the Commerce Commission commenced an investigation under Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act 2001 (the Act) into mobile termination access services (MTAS). The MTAS incorporates mobile-to-mobile voice termination (MTM), fixed-to-mobile voice termination (FTM) and short-message service termination (SMS). The investigation is considering whether these services should be recommended to be regulated services under Schedule 1 of the Act.
The MTAS relates to the portion of a call or SMS to a mobile phone, once it has been handed over to a mobile company to be transmitted to a mobile phone (as shown in the diagram below). The current MTAS investigation is only considering whether or not the MTAS should be recommended to be regulated under the Act.
Undertakings. Under the Act, parties can submit undertakings, which are an offer of terms and conditions for the supply of a service as an alternative to regulation. Under the MTAS Investigation, the Commission is currently considering two revised undertakings under Schedule 3A of the Act, from:
a. Telecom - one undertaking covering all three components of MTAS; and
b. Vodafone - one undertaking covering all three components of MTAS.