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"Striking" Drop in NZ Mobile Phone Prices

I was stoked to hear Telecommunications Commissioner Steven Gale on radio tonight commenting that many NZ mobile phone services have become among the world's cheapest over recent years. As he says, the price reduction has been "quite striking". Much credit goes to 3rd entrant 2degrees.

What a turn around from a decade ago! In those days we were among the dearest.

I'll take a bow. Many people have contributed, but I'll claim a small share of credit. Regulation of mobile termination rates, number portability, national roaming and numerous other measures to give 2degrees fair entry occurred on my watch at TUANZ. The two incumbents, especially Vodafone, used every trick available to frustrate, but we won out. In fact it was the successful conclusion of the termination debate that made me decide the time was right to move on in 2010.

This reduction is great news for New Zealand.

Yet my sense is that competition remians fragile and the prospect of a renewed duopoly is never far away. The user group and other consumer organisations need to stay vigilant.

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