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ACMA Amends International Mobile Roaming Standard

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has amended the International Mobile Roaming (IMR) Standard, taking into consideration improvements in telco roaming products since the introduction of the IMR Standard in 2013.

Customers will now have the choice to opt out of receiving roaming usage alerts, while telcos will be able to provide mandatory on-arrival roaming information to travellers in a single SMS, rather than in several.

Telcos will have more flexibility in the ways that they offer customers the ability to decline mobile roaming services while travelling overseas, at no or low cost, with requirements that mobile virtual network operators provide charging and spend management information delayed from May 23, 2016 until January 1, 2019.

ACMA noted that the changes come in response to initiatives proposed by representatives of the telecommunications industry, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) and the Communications Alliance.

ACMA additionally noted that the changes also take into account decreasing complaints about roaming to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

AMTA and the Communications Alliance state that industry welcomes the amendments.

“These amendments recognise that the customer protections built into international roaming products have improved dramatically in recent years, as service providers have committed to minimising the chances of customers receiving unexpectedly high bills,” AMTA CEO Chris Althaus commented.

“Products such as data packs and unlimited roaming for a fixed daily fee have changed the face of international roaming and contributed to the halving of roaming-related customer complaints to the industry ombudsman over the past three years.”

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