ACCC revises mobile terminating access service prices

Telcos’ high termination charges prompt watchdog to evaluate competition

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has put mobile terminating access service (MTAS) pricing up for discussion to promote competition between telecommunications providers.

The consultation will assess the price charged by mobile operators which receive or terminate the call on their networks.

“The ACCC recently found that the prices mobile operators were charging each other to receive mobile calls and SMS messages were too high, which meant higher bills for consumers or reduced product offerings,” Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

“The ACCC is now looking to determine how these services should be priced to promote competition in retail markets and benefit consumers.

“Competition has led to lower prices and greater choice for consumers for voice calls, and the ACCC expects that greater competition will similarly lower SMS prices. The ACCC would like to hear views on appropriate pricing for SMS services in the long term interests of consumers.”

Submissions in response to this latest discussion paper are open until August 29. The ACCC is looking for stakeholders’ views on appropriate ways to determine efficient prices for terminating mobile calls and SMS messages.

This consultation follows the ACCC’s MTAS final access determination (FAD) inquiry which commenced in May.

In the MTAS declaration inquiry, the ACCC extended the date until which it would regulate terminating services for mobile voice calls until 2019, and began regulating terminating SMS services for the first time.

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