Telecom NZ cuts price of Aussie data roaming

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Telecom NZ cuts price of Aussie data roaming

Deal with Telstra sees 80 percent price drop for travellers.

Telecom NZ has become latest to reduce trans-Tasman data roaming rates, ahead of a coordinated investigation by the Australian and New Zealand federal governments into the matter.

The new deals, available from this week, would see the carrier charge postpaid customers $2.50 a megabyte while roaming on Telstra's network in Australia, down from $8 a megabyte previously.

Heavier users would be able to pay $1 a megabyte for the first 100 MB, before paying the regular price beyond that.

Prepaid customers would pay $4 a megabyte while roaming, or pay $10 for the first 10MB data block used.

The NZ carrier has also introduced an SMS promotion allowing customers to pay $10 for 100 texts while roaming until 31 July this year.

The new rates echo similar moves from Vodafone Australia in November last year, which trialled $2 a megabyte roaming charges, charging by the kilobyte.

The carrier told iTnews at the time that it wanted to gauge the interest in data roaming from users between the countries.

However, it ended the trial in February this year with no permanent changes to data roaming charges.

Unlike Vodafone's promotion, Telecom NZ said its data roaming rate reductions were permanent.

The New Zealand Government, in coordination with the Department of Broadband locally, has pushed for investigation into trans-Tasman data roaming rates, which were found to be on par with those of other countries by travel publication Australian Business Traveller in a survey of Australian carriers earlier this year.

Following a discussion paper on the issue, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and New Zealand ICT Minister Steven Joyce jointly announced a competition review into the roaming market, with the ministers flagging possible regulatory intervention should the market fail to change.

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