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Who’s afraid of mobile data?

Is it possible – or wise – to have unlimited data over wireless? It seems that it is.

In this column, Australia is compared with Finland where one telco recently reported more data was carried over its mobile network than over its fixed networks. That must be a first for any operator with both fixed and mobile networks. In Finland and some other European countries unlimited mobile data is offered. This is not the case in Australia – yet.

For more, click economuse-2016-10-02

2016 review of broadband pricing

This is my ninth annual review of the retail broadband market in Australia.  There are some striking changes since last year and this year we compare our market with New Zealand.

The big change this year is the hike in NBN charges. Last year, the cheapest NBN 25/5 plan was TPG with $50 (for 5 GB pm) and this year the cheapest is TPG at $70 (and unlimited data). While Bigpond’s ADSL2+ pricing did not change in the last year, its NBN 25/5 plans all went up by $10. They went up by $20 for Optus (with unlimited data).

To see the 2 page column go to economuse-2016-09-19

What’s the smart way to buy a smartphone?

This week saw the second anniversary of the launch of the iPhone 6 – many buyers of that phone are coming off their two year contracts now. Before they go on to another postpaid contract to acquire the iPhone 7 on sale tomorrow, they should consider their options carefully. In my view, buying the phone yourself and adding a SIM card is the best way to go for the canny buyer.

Read the column at economuse-2016-09-15

Submission to NZ regulatory review

The Ministry of Business Innovation and employment NZ is moving to the building block method (BBM) adopted by the ACCC some years ago.There are several ultra-fast broadband providers in NZ and one of them also has a copper network with no decommissioning deadline. The Ministry is seeking views on how this wholesale sector should be regulated from 2020.

My submission suggests that the BBM is just one step towards the utility style regulation that it wants. NZ has the opportunity to also adopt utility style wholesale pricing which addresses its concerns about anchor products, encourages adoption and use of broadband networks while avoiding the mistakes made by Canada and Australia.

The submission can be accessed here: NZ-2016