& cplSiteName &

Regulators Reshape Europe's Roaming Market

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
7/6/2011
50%
50%

The European Commission on Wednesday proposed new regulation that would force mobile operators to open their networks to other service providers as a way of introducing competition and reducing prices in the mobile roaming market in Europe. (See EC Proposes More Data Roaming Cuts.)

The proposal comes just days after new roaming price caps came into effect across the region, and it is the most radical move the European policymaker has made to bring down the cost of using voice, SMS and data services while abroad. (See EU Roaming Prices Cut Again.)

Under the new proposal, from July 1, 2014, users will be able to subscribe to a cheaper international roaming service from an alternative provider while using the same SIM card and mobile telephone number they have with their national provider in their home market. To achieve this, the EC will mandate that mobile operators must provide access to their networks on a regulated wholesale basis to any potential alternative roaming service providers. The proposed regulation will also introduce a retail price cap for data roaming for the first time, which will be set at €0.90 (US$1.30) per megabyte from July 1, 2012 and fall to €0.50 (US$0.70) per megabyte by July 2014. A wholesale data roaming price cap has been in place since July 2009.

Such structural measures will get at the root cause of "roaming rip-offs, namely lack of competition," said Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission's Digital Agenda, during a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

Up to now, the European Commission's response to high roaming charges has been to introduce wholesale and retail price caps. But Kroes said these measures have only treated the symptoms of high prices.

"I'm sorry to say that we have been forced to conclude that the market has not moved on," said Kroes. "Competition is still very weak. Customers still get a raw deal when they cross borders. Operators still enjoy outrageous margins, particularly on data downloads."

One of the goals of the European Commission's Digital Agenda is for there to be virtually no difference between the cost of roaming and national tariffs by 2015.

The proposed regulation must be accepted by the European Council and European Parliament before it can come into force. Kroes said she hoped the regulation would be adopted before the current roaming rules expire, which is June 2012.

Why this matters
This regulation will hit European mobile operators hard. Not only will they have a new retail data roaming price cap to contend with, they will also have potentially much more competition for delivering international services.

It's also the most invasive approach the European Commission has proposed to combat the problem of high roaming charges. (See Euronews: EC's Kroes on the Warpath (Again).)

For more
International roaming tariffs have plagued the European mobile scene for years. And the issue of data roaming has kicked off in the U.S. as well:



— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:37:50 PM
re: Regulators Reshape Europe's Roaming Market


The EC's Neelie Kroes (aka Steely Neelie) made some progress on her plans for new roaming rules. A preliminary agreement has been reached with the EU Parliament and Council and they're expected to approve the new rules in May and June, respectively.


http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/12/227&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en


 


That means the new rules would come into force in July this year. 


So are mobile operators ready?


 

DavidCooper
50%
50%
DavidCooper,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:00:04 PM
re: Regulators Reshape Europe's Roaming Market




It's about time the European Commission learnt some basic economics. Mobile operators are like any other business, and need to make a certain return on capital to attract continuing investment. Competition in the mobile industry is intense, and any margin lost on roaming charges will have to be recovered elsewhere.

Forcible reductions on roaming charges will lead to higher charges elsewhere, probably for domestic calls. It’s no coincidence that some leading beneficiaries of this measure will be expatriate Eurocrats working in Brussels- who make lots of roaming calls to family and friends- and who already benefit from fat salaries and favourable tax treatment. How dare the European Commission force ordinary consumers to subsidise these privileged bureaucrats.




miar70
50%
50%
miar70,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:59:33 PM
re: Regulators Reshape Europe's Roaming Market


So does this mean that North American subscribers will be able to choose between roaming providers when they travel to Europe or are they exempt because the home subscription is outside of the EU ?


I for one would welcome anything that reduces my wonderful $100 for 25MB ($4/MB) price gouge from my current service provider. Anything around a $1 looks very appealing !


No, I am not a Eurocrat on a fat salary, just a telco employee who has to travel for work and is tired of getting ripped off all the time. I'd welcome some price competition.

The reality is that the cost of airtime is the same between a roaming subscriber and a non-roaming subscriber. I'm not familiar with the inter-operator cost over GRX (but I suspect someone here is), but I doubt that the wholesale price is more than the retail price of the local market, which means that roaming subs are actually subsidising retail subs. Happy to be proved wrong if someone wants to shed more light on it :)

From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.