Watchdog: mobile broadband still expensive

Last updated 16:54 06/03/2014

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Mobile phone plans are reasonably priced in New Zealand but mobile broadband is still expensive when bought on its own, the Commerce Commission says.

The competition watchdog said plan prices had dropped by between 25 per cent and 70 per cent over the past three years and were generally below the average in countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at the time it benchmarked prices in the middle of last year.

Plans that included an average amount of calls and data were priced 40 per cent below the OECD average, Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale said.

However, a typical 1.5 gigabyte-per-month mobile data plan for laptops and tablets was about 10 per cent above average and the price of a 6GB plan was "one of the highest" in the OECD, the commission said.

It said 6GB of mobile broadband cost $98 from Telecom at the time of the study, against the OECD average price of $46.

The commission used Telecom's pricing for the comparison, but the report noted 2degrees sold 12GB of data, which could be used over up to six months in the parts of the country where it has its own network, for $99.

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- The Dominion Post

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