MTAS is price regulated under the Telecommunications Act by the Commission to ensure consumers can access affordable calling and texting regardless of their choice of provider.

"Most submitters agreed with our draft decision to roll over current arrangements and maintain a regulatory back-stop for mobile termination access services. We are confirming this position in our final decision," Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson says.

"However, we will likely look at the text messaging element of this service before our next mandated review in 2025. This is because of early indications that regulation of text messaging may no longer be necessary due to the increasing popularity of over-the-top messaging services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

"We are also keen to see whether wholesale mobile termination rates in New Zealand decline in line with international benchmarks over the next few years. This is a key indicator of competitive pressure on MTAS and is relevant to any future deregulation of the service. We will start collecting this information in our annual telecommunications monitoring questionnaire from this year," Mr Gilbertson says.

The final decision and more information about MTAS can be found here.