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ComCom keeps its eye on Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees

03 Nov 14

The Commerce Commission has announced its new indicators for monitoring the mobile telecommunications markets.

Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale says the information gathered will help the Commission get consistent information from all mobile providers that will give a wider picture of any changes in the markets.

The full list of updated indicators can be found on the Commission website.

The Commission will conduct its annual survey using the revised indicators to help give insight into competition in mobile markets, the performance and development of those markets, and the service provided to consumers by 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone.

“Consumers are increasingly integrating their mobile phones into their daily lives and the markets are very fast-moving,” says Gale. “There have been many changes in both the supply and demand of mobile services, such as the bundling of text, data and call minutes, so it’s appropriate we review the way we gather data and research the impact of these changes”.

He says “the new indicators will allow us to collect information less frequently but in more detail. It will also help us to monitor key trends and identify potential threats to competition that may have a negative impact on consumers.”

The changes to the indicators include collecting data on new services such as bundles combining voice, text and mobile broadband, machine-to-machine (M2M) services and over the top (OTT) applications like Skype, Viber and Facebook messaging.

Collecting this data will provide an up-to-date view of the drivers influencing competition, which will be broken down by customer segment. The Commission will also gather information on international roaming services.

A key role of the Commission is to monitor competition in, and the development and performance of, telecommunications markets. The Commission also regularly publishes reports based on this monitoring.

The Commission produced an initial discussion paper in June 2014, seeking industry’s and other interested parties’ opinion on a proposed set of indicators that are considered necessary for the on-going assessment of the competitive dynamics of the mobile markets.

The comments the Commission received in response to the discussion paper, complemented by a workshop, supported their preliminary view that it was important to make some changes in the information they collect and report on annually.

In the second stage of the review process, the Commission sought technical feedback on the changes proposed on its request for comments paper and has taken that feedback into consideration in finalising the indicators it will collect.

The final questionnaire with the revised set of questions has been sent to telecommunications providers and the Commision expects to issue the first report by April 2015.

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