ACCC asks telcos to simplify their coverage and improve customer experience

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has asked Australian mobile telcos to devise a standard way to determine the ‘predicted coverage’ of their networks in order to make comparisons easier and “improve safety outcomes” for regional and remote residents. 

Currently, telcos are able to set their own ‘underlying assumptions’ in producing their coverage maps, which allows them to differ in their representations and make it difficult to compare between providers.

The ACCC first noted in October that it wanted a way to compare the coverage maps of different cellular telcos. It again indicated this week that the industry should come together and merge the different assumptions that underpin respective coverage maps. 

The lack of comparison possible between the different coverage maps of Telstra, Optus and TPG made the ACCC’s job difficult in compiling its mobile infrastructure report. The ACCC said it also wanted consumers to be able to compare the coverage of different telcos more easily and be sure they were buying a service that works.

“Many regional consumers have a limited choice of networks and need to know if they will have coverage at home, on properties or along regular transit corridors. This is for both connection and for safety purposes,” the ACCC said.

“The availability of comparable coverage information will enable consumers, particularly in regional areas, to make informed choices and promote competition in the market.”

The process is still under way but customers can be confident that it will soon be easier to compare between mobile providers when signing up to a plan, ensuring they find a service that suits their needs. 

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