ACCC drops prices of wholesale mobile voice services

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ACCC drops prices of wholesale mobile voice services

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has reduced the price of Australia’s wholesale mobile voice services.

The service, officially the Mobile Terminating Access Service (MTAS), will see a price reduction from the current 1.7 cents per minute to 1.19 cents per minute starting 1 January 2021.

The decision comes following the ACCC’s public inquiry into the terms and conditions on which the telcos must provide the MTAS.

“Mobile network operators will be required to charge less for providing the MTAS and that enables providers who rely on the MTAS to pass on the savings in their retail offers to consumers,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“Mobile network operators upgrade their network technology regularly leading to reduced costs, including the cost of the MTAS. We are expecting them to pass on their gains from more efficient technologies to consumers.”

MTAS is an essential wholesale service that allows consumers on different mobile networks to make calls to each other, and for consumers on a landline to call another on a mobile network.

Sims added the price reduction was largely driven by the shutdown of 2G networks in 2018.

“We recognise there are retail plans which allow you to make unlimited calls but our inquiry found that a significant portion of consumers heavily rely on voice calls and still pay very high usage charges. These consumers will benefit most from this decision,” Sims said.

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