The College of Commissioners has published draft rules on ending roaming charges in the EU in June 2017, reinforcing the approach it adopted in September. These rules are based on intensive exchanges with the European Parliament, Member States, stakeholders, consumer representatives, regulators and operators. They aim to clarify users’ rights and provide safeguards to ensure that the most competitive domestic offers remain attractive.
One key aspect of the proposal relates to avoiding ‘permanent roaming’: users purchasing a SIM card in a ‘cheap’ country, and then using it permanently to ‘roam’. This type of use could undermine the competitivity of the mobile operators and potentially distort the markets.
For the "roam like at home" approach, which is important for businesses, the Commission gives the following example:
“For the most competitive contracts that offer data at very low domestic prices, below the wholesale cap: when you go abroad you will continue to enjoy your full allowance of calls and texts. For data, you will have twice the volume of data equivalent to the value of your monthly contract in wholesale roaming data price caps.”
Example: with his €70 per month contract, Tim living in Netherlands gets unlimited calls, texts and data for his smartphone. When he travels abroad on holidays, he will have unlimited calls and text. For data, he will get twice the equivalent of €70 worth of data at the wholesale roaming data price cap, i.e. 0.85 cent/MB according to the Commission wholesale proposal, meaning more than 16 GB in this case. While roaming, he will get twice the volume he has paid for.
The Commission has published both a factsheet and a press release with more information. The draft legislation (an implementing act) has been sent to the Representatives of Member States, who will probably vote on it today (12 December 2017). Afterwards, the Commission will be able to adopt the rules.
BELTUG considers the proposal to be a fair and positive approach, but we need your feedback and opinions. Does this proposal meet your own needs and answer your concerns as a business user?
Please respond to Danielle Jacobs as soon as possible (short, ‘bullet’ or telegraph-style responses are fine). Your comments will be useful in our discussions with the operators, BEREC and the EC.