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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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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.

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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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ARPANSA's latest literature review reports on new Australian study which finds no increase in brain cancer with mobile phone use

In The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA's) regular EMR literature survey for May 2016, ARPANSA report on the recent Australian study by Professor Simon Chapman which asks the question "Has the incidence of brain cancer risen in Australia since the introduction of mobile phones 29 years ago?".  The paper pubslished in cancer epidermology compared mobile phone ownership with the incidence of brain cancer in Australia.  In the study, brain cancer incidence rates from 1982 to 2012 are compared with the number of mobile phone accounts in the Australian population from 1987 to 2012. The study found that although mobile phone use increased from 0% to 94% during the 30 year period brain cancer incidence rates were stable.  This finding is consitent with previous studies in the US, UK. New Zealand and Nordic countries. See ARPANSA's commentary here: Full paper may be found here: