Mobiles industry supports ongoing deregulation agenda

19 March 2014: The mobile telecommunications industry welcomes the Government’s focus on deregulation and the introduction of legislation to support the first repeal day on 26 March.

With these first important steps, industry looks forward to ongoing engagement with the Government to identify opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden in the mobile telecommunications sector as part of the stated annual target of a $1 billion reduction of red/green tape.
 
Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said: “From a mobile telecommunications perspective the industry strongly supports deregulation initiatives as a means to minimise red tape in order to maximise the opportunities to deliver productivity and connectivity benefits arising from mobile services.
 
 “The growth, influence and flow-on benefits of mobile telecommunications will be best supported and enhanced by markets which are not constrained by the weight of outdated costly regulation.
 
“In turn, reduced and better targeted regulation will support the flexibility needed to adapt to the rapid pace of technological change and the continuing evolution of mobile technologies throughout our economy and society.
 
“At this stage, AMTA has proposed deregulation options that can be implemented in the short term, plus regulatory reforms that require a more comprehensive review of legislation and policy options.”
 
For example, short-term opportunities identified for significant savings that would have an immediate impact on productivity and efficiency for the mobile telecommunications industry include: 
  • Removal of Prepaid Identity checks: This imposes a regulatory burden on industry and is often cited as an example of inefficient and costly regulation with little discernable benefit to law enforcement agencies. Mandatory prepaid ID checks are not required in Canada, Great Britain or USA.
  • Premium SMS service reporting: The mobile market has moved on since the introduction of this requirement. Now with declining use of premium SMS services and rapidly expanding use of mobile apps this regulation is no longer necessary. Repeal would remove annual industry costs of $1million.
In addition, an important example of a longer-term regulatory reform priority is:
 
Spectrum management, allocation and licensing: Complexities associated with spectrum allocation and spectrum licence reissue have caused inefficiencies and costly burdens on industry. AMTA supports a comprehensive review of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 to ensure spectrum is available under a simplified regulatory framework that promotes certainty and investment.
Mr Althaus said AMTA would continue to work with the Communications Minister and Parliamentary Secretary to identify and recommend further deregulation opportunities to the benefit of the mobile telecommunication sector.
 
More information contact Randal Markey, AMTA, (02) 6239 6555 0r 0421 240 550