The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has prompted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to impose SMS termination rates in order to squash price inflation.
In its submission to the ACCC’s Domestic Mobile Termination Access Service Declaration Inquiry, ACCAN said the undisclosed wholesale SMS prices which Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone charge one another are resulting in unreasonable charges to consumers. Thus far, Optus has called for the charges to be reduced.
“It’s time the ACCC stepped in and set the scene for some real competition,” ACCAN deputy chief executive officer (CEO), Narelle Clark, said. “Telcos are currently setting whatever outrageous wholesale price they want and then that gets passed onto consumers.”
According to Macquarie Telecom, it costs less than $0.01 to send 100 SMS, although ACCAN claims some telcos charge customers on non-included value plans around 15 cents for one SMS.
ACCAN also said that if the ACCC declares SMS termination rates, it will be able to set a lower wholesale rate and create an environment “for some real competition.”
The same wholesale declaration was made for voice calls to mobiles in 1997. While there are other factors involved, the cost of a mobile service has dropped by at least 51 per cent according to ACCAN pricing information.