Summary of the issue

TDR receives a number of complaints from customers concerning coverage issues for mobile telephone use, as well as having calls 'drop-out' due to reception deficiencies.

Usual positions of the parties

The usual position taken by the customer is that they are unable to obtain reliable reception with their mobile phone. This appears to be more of an issue for customer outside of the main centres, such as in smaller communities or rural New Zealand. The Scheme Member will typically confirm to TDR the extent of coverage provided in the relevant area. The Scheme Member may submit that issues relating to the extent of network coverage are excluded from issues which TDR can consider.

TDR's view of the issue

TDR recognises that coverage for a mobile telephone services is dependent on the customer being broadly within line of sight of a cell tower. It follows that a customer is unlikely to obtain reception if located in an area without such line of sight coverage. TDR acknowledges that issues relating to network coverage are outside the jurisdiction which TDR can consider. For example, TDR considers it does have jurisdiction to consider a complaint if the customer had been misled by a Scheme Member.