Mobile roaming rates

February 9th, 2013 at 8:58 am by David Farrar

Trace Watkins reports:

Australia and New Zealand regulators will get new powers to crack down on exorbitant mobile phone both sides of the Tasman.

Prime Minister John Key and his Australian counterpart Julia Gillard are expected to announce the changes today after meetings in Queenstown.

They will give the Commerce Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission the power to set price caps, or force operators to offer local access services that do not require a change of SIM card.

This looks like a good step to me. Fair to mention though things are a lot better now with Telecom’s flat rate roaming deal.

The changes follow a lengthy investigation and horror stories about holiday makers returning home with mobile phone charges steeper than the cost of their holiday.

Literally.

While prices had dropped recently, that was only because the threat of legislation hung over telecommunications providers, she said.

“When the work began on the report, New Zealanders were facing mobile data charges of up to $30 per megabit but the price had now dropped in most cases to 50c per megabit.”

I think you mean megabyte.

Even 50c is massive. Domestic charges are around 0.1c per MB or $1 per GB.

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12 Responses to “Mobile roaming rates”

  1. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    “This looks like a good step to me.”

    So much for your professed support for free markets.

    Profiteering on roaming rates pisses me off as much as it pisses anyone off, but I am not ever going to support government intervention.

    It is typical of Key’s frequent and casual betrayal of his party’s principles that he would team up with the extreme left ghoul Gillard in an interventionist action like this.

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  2. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    I think they should have left it alone.
    There is nothing stopping somebody getting their phone unlocked before they leave (network-locked phones are common in Aussie and unlocking costs $25-50 but you usually save that amount when you purchase the phone) and buying a sim card when they get overseas. It’s not like roaming fees are poorly publicised, they’re on the news all the time. There is no need for more regulation to protect morons from themselves.

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  3. MIKMS (164 comments) says:

    I remember last Gold Coast trip I brought
    my 2degrees android and it worked at same level as it did in NZ via one of the networks there- this was without roaming turned on, there were no more charges than the ones I got here.

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  4. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    Yes 2degrees are very good – it’s actually cheaper to call a phone in Australia on a roaming 2degrees sim than it is on Telstra Prepaid (NZ44c vs A49c per minute).

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  5. Ed Snack (1,733 comments) says:

    Wrong about local roaming charges, utterly and completely wrong David! You’re comparing roaming to fixed line costs. Local roaming costs are in the order of $0.10/MB or $10 for 200 MB. So more expensive by quite a lot, but not as much as you seem to think.

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  6. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    DPF, yet again you’re proving your score on the “political compass” is extremely inaccurate.

    Change from Telecom or Vodafone, or buy a cheap local SimCard when you’re over there. We don’t need a government agreement to sort this out!

    It’s well known that roaming charges are exorbitant. But we can deal with that by not using the phone in that manner! Why must we always cater to dumb people? How much is this agreement costing the taxpayer in wasted politician time?

    The only people who get charged roaming charges are idiots, lazy, or politicians who have their mobile bills paid for by the taxpayer. Telecom’s flat rate is still a rip-off, and the company is inept. If anyone uses Telecom, you should leave them.

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  7. berend (1,631 comments) says:

    Yet another market intervention DPF is in favour of!

    Please don’t whine if the unintended consequences become visible.

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  8. berend (1,631 comments) says:

    Oops, clicked on the down vote for Redbaiter comments, and you can’t undo that. Can that be fixed please?

    I actually wanted to do +1 on Redbaiter’s comment. Spot on.

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  9. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Being an elderly chap I usually send a telegram when I’m overseas so it won’t affect me. :)

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  10. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    It’s all right berend. I just gave him one up by telegram to cancel your one down! :)

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  11. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    “Oops, clicked on the down vote for Redbaiter comments, and you can’t undo that.”

    No probs Berend, I’m over the down votes on this site. Kiwiblog is largely pro-National and as National (especially under John Key) disgusts me most of the time, and I don’t hesitate to express that disgust, the Nat blue rinsers will naturally come after me.

    However I’m not about to race off and run a warm bath and buy a packet of razor blades just yet.

    I’m just going to go on trying to expand the thin glimpse of the far left political spectrum that is used as the basis for most political discussion in this country.

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  12. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    This looks like a good step to me

    Really? That clapping you can here is Stalin from his grave.

    The irony of NZ’s largest monopoly (The NZ Government) which sets it’s mandatory fee levels (aka taxes) by fiat, intervening when voters will applaud is not lost on me.

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