The Commerce Commission wants to continue regulating mobile roaming. It said so in a paper written for the regular five yearly review of the Commission’s powers over the telecommunications industry.

The Telecommiunications Act gives the Commission the power to make Spark, Vodafone or 2degrees give any new network operator wholesale access. The idea is that this would allow them to expand beyond the reach of a new, yet to be established physical network. 

Telecommunications Commissioner Stephen Gale said in a press release: “National mobile roaming helped 2degrees deliver a nationwide service for its customers from day one, in advance of rolling out its own national network infrastructure. We believe the power to regulate remains an important competition safeguard, especially with 5G networks and potential new entrants on the horizon.”

One possible new entrant is Malcolm Dick’s Blue Reach. In its Review of National Roaming the Commerce Commission writes: 

“The allocation provides a potential opportunity for a new entrant to purchase spectrum. A new mobile provider will almost certainly require a NR arrangement while it rolls out. We note that Blue Reach Services has entered as a fourth provider and has publically stated intentions to roll-out 5G.”

In earlier media interviews Dick described Blue Reach as a 5G wholesaler that would offer services similar to the failed Woosh Wireless business. 

The Commerce Commission has called for submissions on the issue before July 30. It expects to release a final decision on September 4.