Papua New Guinea’s National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NITCA) has published a retail service determination related to retail mobile service prices. The watchdog has confirmed that it will restrict the extent to which market leader Digicel PNG can discriminate in the pricing for pre-paid mobile voice calls made by customers on its network and to customers on other networks. Under the determination, NICTA has revealed that Digicel will be not be allowed to charge off-net calls at prices more than 40% higher than on-net calls, although it said that there would be two exemptions to this. The two cases in which Digicel may exceed are: where the cellco has a cost justification that has been accepted by NICTA; and/or if it is running a promotion which has been cleared for price-setting purposes by the regulator. In announcing the pricing restrictions, NICTA noted that a number of Digicel’s tariffs do not conform to the new regulation, and as such it said that the operator will be required to revise a number of its tariffs.
Commenting on the decision, Papua New Guinea’s minister for communications and information technology Jimmy Miringtoro noted: ‘I am confident that this determination is in the best interests of consumers in PNG. I am also confident that Digicel, Telikom and bemobile will continue to innovate on service and price packaging for the benefit of their customers as part of the competitive process.’