Machinations over mobile phone towers

Public hearings called by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in Melbourne last month attempted to thrash out some of the problems associated with mobile phone towers.

ACCC's draft code of access to telecommunication towers and underground facilities aims to encourage carriers to "co-locate" their facilities, and give new mobile and radio-based operators access to the existing communications facilities.

The ACCC''s other public inquiry aimed to determine if intercarrier roaming should be a "declared" service. Once a service is "declared", the carrier or service provider must make it available to others.

Domestic intercarrier roaming between existing and new digital mobile networks would let users of one mobile telephone network access the services of another while using the same terminal. A customer of a new mobile carrier in the 1.8Ghz band in a metropolitan area could, for example, use an existing GSM network where the new network had no presence such as in country areas.

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