Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Editorial – Communications regulator calls for discussion about mobile network performance

MCF Manager Ray McKenzie


MCF Manager Ray McKenzie

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have announced plans to hold a Mobile Network Performance Summit in late 2013 to discuss improved transparency of information about the performance and reach of Australia’s mobile phone networks.

The dialogue was prompted by an increased level of complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about mobile faults and coverage while complaints in the areas of billing, complaint handling, credit management and contracts are “rapidly reducing”.

The Mobile Carriers Forum (MCF) understand the ACMA will start discussions with industry in July to assess current network monitoring practices and investigate what areas the industry can improve on to ensure customers have access to accurate information about network performance.

The MCF and our members welcome the ACMA’s initiative to start a conversation across the telecommunications industry and among consumers about how to effectively inform and educate consumer expectations about the performance of mobile services.

The exponential growth of mobile data downloads driven by the rapid uptake of data hungry smartphones in Australia and the increasing popularity of mobile broadband has meant network carriers must continue to install new antennas and upgrade to the latest technology to ensure their networks can meet user demand.

Carriers are constantly assessing the performance of their networks to address any deficiencies and identify coverage gaps to ensure their customers have access to good quality, competitive and reliable coverage.

Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are all in the process of rolling out the latest superfast mobile broadband technology, known as 4G, across Australia to provide faster internet access to users and relieve the strain of growing data use on the older 3G network.
Unfortunately the carriers and their contractors are often impeded from delivering new base stations and network upgrades in some areas because of local community opposition to the siting of a phone tower or new network equipment.

Consumers must understand that without new base stations and network infrastructure, mobile coverage, call quality and data speeds will all suffer.

The mobiles industry has to balance the needs of Australia’s more than 31 million mobile service subscribers with local community concerns about living and working near a base station.

As an industry we are committed to active community and local government consultation to address these concerns and by facilitating the efficient rollout of mobile network technology, local communities will in turn benefit from faster and more reliable access to advanced mobile services.

As always we appreciate any feedback from our stakeholders within industry, government and the community about any of the stories in this edition.
Ray McKenzie

Mobile Carriers Forum


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