Vodafone Optus Roaming Agreement
Dan Lloyd, Vodafone`s Chief Strategy Officer, explains with Red Wire why Vodafone supports ACCC demand and how domestic roaming can improve selection, coverage and value for mobile phone users in Australia and as is the case in similar countries internationally. DL: We haven`t seen it in the many other similar countries that have regulated domestic roaming. Where appropriate, consumers will see the many benefits of competition. “As part of the proposed Extended Network Joint Undertaking, which includes a roaming agreement with Optus, which will start in April 2013, Vodafone customers will have access to hundreds of additional base stations in urban and regional areas outside, bringing Vodafone`s network coverage to 96% of the Australian population,” said Mr. Morrow. In order to identify the importance of reliable mobile phone coverage and choice of service provider for Australians, particularly those living in regional and remote areas, the ACCC decided to conduct an investigation to determine the extent to which domestic roaming would promote competition between mobile operators and what the implications would be for investments in mobile infrastructure. “[Vodafone] finds that an essential element of the ACCC`s decision not to report roaming. the ACCC was concerned about curbing incentives for carriers to invest beyond agglomerations and compete with differentiated infrastructure,” said Dan Lloyd, Chief Strategy Officer of Vodafone. RW: In terms of investment, Telstra said that regulating domestic roaming will reduce the incentive to invest in rural and regional Australia, which worries many people. Telstra Prepaid customers should have automatically enabled global roaming.
Prepaid customers pay standard roaming rates for the country they are visiting. The origin of this amount depends on the type of prepaid plan they signed up for – for some plans, the amount spent on calls and texts comes from the extra credit, while others exhaust the top-up credit first. International data packets are available, but only if you still have a top-up credit on your phone. There is no evidence that mandatory domestic roaming has reduced investment incentives in the many similar countries that have regulated it. DL: That`s not quite right. The last time the ACCC looked at homelessness in 2004, it concluded that all the service regulation tests were met. In other words, the ACCC stated that all reporting criteria were met. They decided to oppose it only because important roaming agreements have already been concluded on a commercial basis. For most people, the trip only takes a very small fraction of the year, so they sign up for a long-term phone plan for other reasons. If your destination is popular, like New Zealand, then Vodafone`s roaming options have their noses forward, as you can use your usual data abroad as part of the additional 5 $US fee. Data is usually the most expensive aspect of roaming, so the ability to access your usual quota for a small fee is very generous. Of course, we`re not afraid to invest billions of dollars where it comes in handy, but in regional Australia, it makes much more sense for the industry to work together, build and expand a mobile phone network.