ComCom: National Roaming Still Matters

National Roaming
Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Commerce Commission has made a decision to continue overseeing national roaming to make sure that different mobile companies compete fairly in the New Zealand market. 


What is National Roaming?

Ever noticed your phone losing signal in some spots? With national roaming, if you're out of your usual coverage area, you can hop onto another network's coverage instead,  which keeps you connected no matter where you are.


Why is it important?

Tristan Gilbertson, the Telecommunications Commissioner, explained that good network coverage is essential for fair phone services. National roaming is like a rule that makes sure phone companies share their networks, which gives everyone better access.


Did it Make a Difference?

This rule has been crucial for growing New Zealand's mobile market and enabled companies such as 2degrees to offer services all over the country as they built their own network.

In 2001, the Telecommunications Act was established, mandating key players like 2degrees, Spark, and One NZ to grant temporary network access to newcomers, streamlining startups' service offerings. As part of the Act, the Commission must review certain services, including national roaming, every five years to see if they should be less regulated.


Why do Roaming Rules Still Matter?

Gilbertson remarked, "The phone market hasn't changed enough to remove this rule." This rule fosters a welcoming environment for new phone companies, ensuring market dynamism and fairness. 

But how does it benefit you? These rules make sure you have a range of options to choose from, keeping prices competitive and services top-notch. They ensure a level playing field, resulting in better deals and experiences for consumers like you.


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