The news article revealing the secret deal between Vodafone New Zealand and the third carrier in the country 2degrees that was reported on the National Business Review newspaper has found its way on the Wikileaks website in servers located in several countries, including Sweden and the United States.
The story, pulled by the Commerce Commission after claiming that it breached Section 100 of the Commerce Act, revealed that Vodafone gave special concessions to 2degrees, including a 33 percent discount in mobile-to-mobile calls, and the mobile termination rates (MTR) (where the phone moves from its own network to another) to Vodafone network were priced that 2degrees was the receiver of the payments from Vodafone, even though Vodafone own the network.
“The file contains information that directly affects public policy (telecommunications regulation). However, the regulator, the New Zealand Commerce Commission, has used its powers under section 100 of the Commerce Act to suppress the story, and have ordered New Zealand media not to publish any details of the deal. NBR was forced to take down the story as a result of this state censorship,” Wikileaks said in the page where it was posted.
“The the New Zealand public that needs to know how telecommunications industry regulation is done.”
The commission has recommended that the MTR should be priced at 7.2 cents per minute for voice calls, and 3.8 cents per text, with other cuts to proceed until 2015. Many observers have strongly backed the commission’s call for the change in pricing structure.
Telecom New Zealand has announced that it will change its MTR to 7 cents per minute, though that will take effect in 2015.