The European Commission has adopted new implementing rules which set out the maximum charges for receiving phone calls in another Member State of the European Union applicable as of 30 April 2016. This is a necessary step towards the end of roaming, planned for June 2017. Next year other measures will be prepared.
The cap for incoming voice calls is reduced from 5 cent/min to 1.14 cent/min. Previously, the EU Commission had already determined that outgoing voice calls (currently 19 cent/min) will be capped at 5 cent/min above the subscriber`s domestic rate and that the maximum roaming fee for outgoing texts is set at 2 cents above the national per message rate. Data roaming will be available at a maximum fee of 5 cent per MB on top of the subscriber`s national rate. This completes the set of maximum roaming surcharges that subscribers will pay between 30 April 2016 and June 2017. The end of roaming is envisaged for June 2017. The European Commission wants to secure the end of roaming via an obligation for mobile operators to not charge any roaming fee in addition to the domestic retail price on a roaming customer in any Member State for any call made or received, for any SMS message sent and for any data services used. This is subject to a fair use policy.
These implementing rules are one of a number of technical measures related to the end of roaming charges on which the European Commission is currently working on. Further, the Commission has recently launched a public consultation which is supposed to help gathering input for three purposes:
- Assessing the functioning of wholesale roaming markets in the EU and the current regulation of national wholesale roaming markets.
- Developing rules on the application of fair use policy to the consumption of roaming services at domestic prices by the end of 2016.
- Developing rules on the sustainability mechanism foreseeen in the Roaming regulation. More specifically, the public consultation seeks views on appropriate content and design of the methodology for assessing whether the abolition of retail roaming surcharges would undermine the sustainability of the domestic price model of a given operator.
Any questions? Please contact: Pascal Schumacher
Practice Group: Telecommunications