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Optus takes early stand in Australian fees war

Dominic White (Australian Financial Review) | April 11, 2011
The SingTel subsidiary claims only Telstra would benefit from mobile connection fee cut.

"The competitive dynamics in Europe, particularly in the fixed-line market, are quite different to here, where Telstra remains the dominant provider of 90 per cent of infrastructure to homes and businesses.

"We've argued that the past policy has been something of a regulatory gift to Telstra in terms of cost savings."
A spokesman for Telstra said: "Mobile termination rates have been well above cost for some time (and have remained steady for four years) - there is no reason why they shouldn't be reduced to a level that is more reflective of efficient costs."

However, Telstra is thought to share Optus's concerns about major reductions in MTRs similar to those imposed in Europe. It also is expected to argue that fixed-line call prices have fallen in real terms because callers buy bundles of access and calls.

ACCC has yet to announce its formal review of Australia's mobile connection fees. Telco providers charge each other 9¢ a minute to put rivals' customers through to their networks.



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