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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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Final NTP results cannot confirm mobile phone cause cancer in humans

The long awaited final results of the decade-spanning US National Toxicology Program on radiofrequency energy exposure has found no consistent effects in male and female mice and rats exposed to mobile phone signals for their whole life (2 years). However, in a sub-section of the study, researchers found that at the highest doses for the longest periods of time, cellphone radiation might cause a rare cancer in male rats. “High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumours in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP),” said a press release from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where the program is headquartered.

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AMTA Annual Report 2017

In 2017, the strong demand for mobile services continues to have an impact on our economy and society as the industry shifts its focus in preparation for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. AMTA’s latest Annual Report includes the following highlights: As industry prepares for 5G the need for regulatory reform in spectrum management and network infrastructure deployment is increasingly urgent. 5G Mobile – Enabling Businesses and Economic Growth Report by Deloitte Access Economics found that 5G is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy. It will add to the already significant (and growing) $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile; and annual network spend from mobile providers is expected to reach $5.7 billion in FY2017-18. The MCF has focused on an agenda of legislative reform to support the efficient and flexible deployment of network infrastructure.

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How will 5G improve network performance

While the technical standards for 5G are still being developed, experts agree that 5G will offer: Latency of less than 1ms; Ability to deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps and beyond; Energy efficiency in running 1000s of devices; and Improved network capacity by enabling millions of low bandwidth devices to connect simultaneously. Where 4G focussed on providing improved speed and capacity for individual mobile phone users, 5G will enable more industrial applications, and could be a major technological driver in industrial digitalisation. For more information about 5G read our latest report from Deloitte Access Economics. Download the complete report.