Beltug

EC Adopts Roaming Fair Use Policy and Wholesale Rates


On 15 December 2016, the European Commission formally adopted the fair use rules for ending roaming charges in the European Union in 2017. The measure was proposed in September and voted on 12 December.

According to the European Commission, “The approved fair use policy makes sure that all European travellers will enjoy the 'Roam like at Home' opportunity by paying the same price for mobile calls, SMS or data whether they travel away from their 'home' (their country of residence or with which they have stable links). The measure further clarifies consumer rights and introduces safeguards to ensure the most competitive domestic offers remain."

Beltug asked members about the proposal in an Alert on 12 December. Our members tended to be quite positive about the approach taken by the College. This mirrors Beltug's own perception that the proposal is a fair and positive approach.

The act, adopted on 15 December 2016, was published in the Official Journal of the EU (page 46) on 17 December 2016. A factsheet has been published, as well, with more information.

On 31 January 2017 the Council presidency reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on new wholesale caps, which will be around 90% lower than current ones. (Wholesale prices are those which operators charge each other for using their network.). According to the Press Release, “Under the agreement, on 15 June 2017 the maximum wholesale charge for data will drop from the current cap of €50/GB to €7.7/GB and then continue to decrease in stages: from 1 January 2018 the maximum charge will be €6.0/GB, from 1 January 2019 €4.5/GB, from 1 January 2020 €3.5/GB, from 1 January 2021 €3.0/GB and, finally, from 1 January 2022 €2.5/GB.”