ACCC Proposes Cut For Mobile Call And SMS Charges
In its draft decision, the ACCC has proposed that the price of terminating calls on Australian mobile networks should be 1.61 cents per minute, reduced from the current rate of 3.6 cents per minute.
ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes stated the “proposed rate reflects the cost of terminating calls on Australian networks”, and is based on benchmarking the costs of the service overseas.
“While Australian mobile network operators are transitioning to 4G technology and have announced plans to rollout voice over 4G technology, voice over LTE, later this year, the take-up of this technology and the effect upon the costs of terminating calls on Australian mobile networks is currently uncertain,” Cifuentes commented.
“Until voice over 4G technology is rolled out, it is appropriate to reflect the costs of terminating calls and SMS messages using the predominant mobile technology in Australia.”
The proposed rates may be reviewed within the regulatory period if there is evidence of significant take-up of voice over 4G technology which affects the costs of connecting calls on Australian networks, the ACCC stated.
The ACCC has also proposed that the price for an Australian mobile network to receive an SMS should be 0.03 cents per SMS, which it noted is well below current commercial rates. The consumer watchdog stated it had based the price upon the network capacity and the equipment used to carry SMS messages on Australian networks.
The ACCC’s draft decision proposes that the regulated prices take effect from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019, with the ACCC expecting to release a final decision on mobile termination prices in July after considering submissions on the draft report.