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Consumers To Save $658m – Voda Renews Domestic Roaming Push

Vodafone hasn’t given up on the prospect of forcing Telstra and Optus – particularly the former – to share their networks in regional and outback areas via the notion of domestic roaming.

Despite a draft decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that appeared to rule out the domestic roaming notion, Vodafone has continued its attack, sending a new submission to the ACCC.

“Telstra’s first mover advantage, has enabled Telstra to capture those areas that can only viably support a single network,” Vodafone has argued.

“Optus has followed to capture those areas that can only viably support two networks,” it added.

Telstra has argued that enabling mobile roaming – even though it would be paid for use of its network – would “remove the key rationale for investment in regional Australia for all operators.”

Vodafone claims consumers in rural areas would collectively save $658 million a year if domestic roaming is declared. “That’s an extraordinary amount of money that could be staying in the wallets of consumers, instead of lining Telstra’s pockets with no added value,” said Vodafone chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd.

He added: “Telstra tries to convince everyone it is regional Australia’s knight in shining armour. But even the ACCC admits Telstra doesn’t have any incentive to invest in regional areas unless taxpayers cough up.”

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