ComCom defers roaming decision

The Commerce Commission is deferring a decision on whether to investigate and regulate prices for national mobile roaming.

"The Commission has significant concerns with the current state of the mobile market that suggest there may be a case to commence a Schedule 3 investigation into designation of the national roaming service," says Paula Rebstock, Commerce Commission chair, in a statement released this morning.

"These concerns primarily involve the prices contained in current commercial roaming agreements and the ability of future potential market entrants to negotiate competitive agreements in a timely manner."

The commission says it intends to complete its investigations in three months' time to provide parties with an opportunity to reach commercial solutions. It also expects greater clarity about roaming prices to emerge from its separate investigation into mobile termination services.

National roaming allows subscribers of one mobile network to use their handset on a different network to make and receive calls. Roaming allows a new entrant to offer nationwide services while building its own network.