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Long distance mobile call inquiry

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Media release 14 December 1998

Long distance mobile call inquiry

As part of its public inquiry into competition for long distance mobile calls, the Australian^, Competition and Consumer Commission today issued a discussion paper to assist those wanting to take part in toe inquiry. The paper is Public inquiry into competition for long distance mobile telecommunications services.

The inquiry, announced on 8 October 1998, reflects the ACCC's interest in promoting competition for mobile services.

‘During this inquiry, the ACCC wants to hear from industry participants, other stakeholders and the public more generally,’ the Commissioner with responsibility for telecommunications, Mr Rod Shogren, said today.

‘The discussion paper identifies the matters of particular interest to the ACCC with a view to fostering an informed analysis of the issues’.

The ACCC convened the inquiry to examine whether it should intervene to 'declare' a service that would enable a wider range of service providers to supply the long distance component of mobile calls. Declaration allows access to the services that service providers need in order to supply competitive services to end-users.

Within the telecommunications industry, there are mixed views as to whether intervention by the ACCC is necessary for long distance mobile services. Some argue that this would lead to lower prices for long distance services. Others argue that there is already healthy competition.

‘This inquiry provides the opportunity to test the various arguments and to hear from end-users.

‘In deciding what action is appropriate, the ACCC will ultimately be concerned with achieving benefits for end-users, including sustainable lower prices and greater choice’.

The ACCC is seeking submissions in response to its discussion paper by 29 January 1999. Copies of the discussion paper are available from ACCC offices and the paper is available on the ACCC's Internet site: Click here to download a zipped RTF version of the discussion paper.

For further information about this media release: Ms Lin Enright, Director, Public Relations (02) 6243 1108

MR 230/98 06/01/1999