The ACCC is undertaking a public inquiry into whether to declare a domestic mobile roaming service. A domestic mobile roaming service would allow mobile network operators to provide mobile services in areas where they do not have their own mobile network by accessing the network of another mobile network operator.
Network coverage is a key feature of mobile services and a feature that mobile network operators use to compete with each other. All of the mobile operators have extended their networks to provide services to the vast majority of Australia’s population. The difference in population coverage between the operators is small, however the difference in geographic coverage is significantly greater.
The ACCC is undertaking this inquiry to determine whether the difference in geographic coverage provided by the three mobile networks is having a detrimental impact on competition in the market for mobile services, and whether regulated mobile roaming would be in the long-term interests of consumers.
The ACCC has released a discussion paper which seeks views on a range of issues, including:
the current state of competition for mobile services and whether there are barriers to extending mobile networks in regional Australia
the effect that declaring a mobile roaming service may have upon competition
the extent and nature of investment which has taken place in mobile networks since the last declaration inquiry
the effect a declaration may have on mobile network operators’ incentives to invest in extending and improving their networks
the importance of geographic coverage for consumers and mobile service providers’ ability to compete.
How to participate
We would like to hear from all interested stakeholders, including individual consumers, businesses, industry and relevant representative bodies about their views on issues raised in the discussion paper and other matters they consider relevant to the declaration inquiry. Please provide your submission online or send your submission to email@example.com.
In addition to the discussion paper, we have also prepared a guide on the inquiry for consumers and an online questionnaire which is designed to help us understand consumers’ choice and use of mobile services and how mobile roaming is likely to affect them.
We will consider all submissions we receive as public, and will post them on the ACCC website, unless the submission is identified as commercial-in-confidence. If interested parties wish to submit commercial-in-confidence material, they should submit both a public version and commercial-in-confidence version of their submission. Any commercial‑in‑confidence material should be clearly identified, and the public version of the submissions should identify where commercial-in-confidence material has been removed.
Submissions to the discussion paper are due by Friday 25 November 2016.
Please note: The ACCC made some minor amendments to the discussion paper on 27 October 2016 to correct inadvertent factual errors brought to our attention. If you have downloaded the discussion paper before this date, please download again to ensure you have the amended version.