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New Prepaid Regulations 2017

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that the Authority made the Telecommunciations (Service Provider – Identity Checks for Prepaid Mobile Carriage Services) Determination 2017 on 6 April 2017.

The Determination streamlines and replaces the previous instrument which was last amended in 2013.

The Determination regulates the supply of prepaid mobile services by placing an obligation on service providers to obtain and verify customer identity information before the activation of a prepaid mobile service.

AMTA recognises the ACMA’s efforts in working with industry and other stakeholders to streamline and improve the Determination, making it easier to understand and comply with.

As there is no business requirement to conduct identity checks on prepaid customers, the Determination places an undisputed regulatory burden on industry so any efforts to make the regulation more effective and efficient are appreciated.

In the longer term, however, AMTA believes that biometrics and other developments around identity verification should be considered closely by the ACMA in order to provide more flexible and effective means of verifying customer identity for the purposes of law enforcement and national security agencies.

The amendments made include improvements to:

  • Record-keeping requirements;
  • The rules relating to assisting customers who have been affected by an emergency situation or domestic violence;
  • The range of credit cards and other identity documents that can be used to verify customer identity; and
  • The financial transactions method for verifying identity.

AMTA welcomes these changes to the Determination and also notes that alternative compliance plans can now be submitted jointly in order to enable industry co-operation and a consistent approach to compliance.

AMTA will be working with members to submit an alternative compliance plan to the ACMA to potentially further expand the range of credit cards that can be used for identity verification. Such an expanded range would assist service providers in meeting the needs of international visitors to Australia who generally seek to use a credit card issued by a foreign financial institution when activating a prepaid mobile service.

You can read and dowload a copy  of the new Determination here

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Interference to mobile networks - Buyer Beware!

Interference to the mobile network can cause calls to drop out, data speeds to drop and impact on network performance. In the worst case, it can prevent someone else from making a call to Triple Zero in an emergency. The ACMA has now made available a consumer factsheet on interference that explains some of the common causes of interference and what you should do if you are contacted by a mobile network operator about interference to their network.

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Flexibility in Network Deployment Regulations

The Department of Communications and the Arts has just completed its public consultation on a suite of amendments to the regulatory framework governing carriers’ deployment of mobile network infrastructure. AMTA joined Communications Alliance in welcoming the opportunity to provide comment on the DoCA consultation paper.

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In-depth Analysis of the Mobile Industry

Mobile World Live has published its first annual report, offering an in-depth analysis of the true state of the mobile industry. Split into five chapters – a full market overview, 5G, Security, IoT and Telecoms IT – the report highlights a number of key findings.

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Local Councils Lift Recycling Game

MobileMuster, the mobile phone industry’s product stewardship program, recognised the efforts of local councils who have dramatically increased their collections and helped make recycling more accessible to the community.

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Connected Cars: from Here to Autonomy

GSMA's global survey, conducted in November and December 2016 with nearly 1,000 respondents, uncovered significant understanding of the issues facing the wider deployment and monetisation of connected cars, along with significant enthusiasm for connected car technologies and services in general and autonomous driving.

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Australia Leads on Speed and Connectivity

The inaugural GSMA Mobile Connectivity Index shows that Australia performs exceptionally well and consistently as the top ranked nation in the 2016 GSMA Index. The Index measures the performance of 134 countries, accounting for more than 95% of the world’s population, against the key enablers of mobile internet connectivity. Importantly, it tells us how specific countries and clusters of countries are performing. In short, Australia is regarded as a leader and our scores reflect a high degree of industry commitment, technical innovation and investment. What are the enablers and how are they measured? The  enablers  of  mobile  internet  connectivity  that  inform  the  indicators  selected  for  the Index are: Infrastructure  –  the  availability  of  high-performance  mobile  internet  network coverage (Australia’s score: 73.