Streamlining of International Mobile Roaming Standard – Good News for Consumers and Industry

Sydney, 5 May 2016 – Industry has welcomed amendments to the International Mobile Roaming Standards (IMRS) announced today, which will give additional flexibility to Australian customers roaming abroad and will delay the imposition of new regulatory burdens on mobile service providers.

The amendments come as a result of industry associations Communications Alliance and AMTA (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association) working through the Government’s red- tape reduction program.

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton said that although the streamlining of the Standard does not go as far as industry sought, it is nonetheless a welcome example of the Government’s commitment to reduce regulatory burden where appropriate.

The amendments follow a direction by the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator Mitch Fifield to the industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), and recognise that improvements in the roaming marketplace during the past three years have largely overtaken the usefulness of the original Standard.

Under the amended Standard, onerous customer notification requirements that would have been imposed on MVNOs (companies that re-sell mobile services supplied by one of the three mobile network operators) as of this month will now be deferred until 1 January 2019.

Significantly – the entire Standard is due to be reviewed by the ACMA before June 2018.

The amendments also give the mobile carriers and their customers more flexibility in terms of opting out of the use of roaming services, and/or opting out of receiving usage notifications.

“These amendments recognise that the customer protections built into international roaming products have improved dramatically in recent years, as service providers have committed to minimising the chances of customers receiving unexpectedly high bills,” said AMTA CEO, Chris Althaus.

“Products such as data packs and unlimited roaming for a fixed daily fee have changed the face of international roaming and contributed to the halving of roaming-related customer complaints to the industry ombudsman over the past three years.”

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body  in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about  Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
0431 478 558 


ABOUT AUSTRALIAN MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION
The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) is the peak industry body representing Australia’s mobile telecommunications industry. Its mission is to promote an environmentally, socially and economically responsible, successful and sustainable mobile telecommunications industry in Australia, with members including the mobile Carriage Service Providers (CSPs), handset manufacturers, network equipment suppliers, retail outlets and other suppliers to the industry. For more details about AMTA, see www.amta.org.au.