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Public Consultation on the EU Roaming Regulation

IP/08/718
Brussels, 7 May 2008


Telecoms: European Commission launches public consultation
on the functioning and the effects of the EU Roaming Regulation



As of today (May 7, 2008), the European Commission invites feedback by industry, consumers and other interested stakeholders to review the functioning and effectiveness of the EU Roaming Regulation, which entered into force on 30 June 2007. According to the provisions of the Regulation, the Commission must report to the European Parliament and the Council in 2008 about the functioning of the new roaming rules and their effects. The public consultation aims to gather responses from mobile operators, businesses, consumer associations and any interested party by 2 July 2008
.


The public consultation seeks feedback from stakeholders on the general functioning and impact of the current Regulation as well as on specific issues such as:
  • inadvertent roaming (or involuntary roaming) when consumers use their mobile phone close to the border of a neighbouring country and are connected to a foreign network;
  • the effect of the Regulation on smaller operators and on domestic prices;
  • the issue of actual and billed minutes (e.g. whether there has been any detrimental trend away from "per second" to "per minute" billing as a result of the Regulation);
  • whether regulation is necessary for data roaming services and SMS in light of current retail prices and market developments;
  • the duration of the EU Roaming Regulation (until 30 June 2010 or beyond).

Background

The EU Roaming Regulation of 30 June 2007 (IP/07/870) requires operators to offer customers a "Eurotariff" for voice calls when roaming in other Member States and introduced ceilings (excl. VAT) of €0.49 per minute for making calls and €0.24 per minute for receiving calls. These will decrease to €0.46 and €0.22 respectively on 30 August 2008 and to €0.43 and €0.19 on 30 August 2009. At the end of September 2007, over 400 million EU citizens could already benefit from a "Eurotariff".

The Roaming Regulation is limited to voice calls and expires on 30 June 2010 unless the European Parliament and the Council decide to extend it beyond this date, on the basis of a proposal from the European Commission. The Commission must carry out a review and report to the European Parliament and the Council in 2008.

A first report from the European Regulators Group in January 2008 illustrated the Regulation's first positive impact on average tariffs and reported on prices for SMS and other data services (IP/08/58). On average, users had to pay €5.24 per MB for data services and €0.29 for an SMS in the third quarter of 2007.

The Commission's public consultation document



Input can be sent to
: infso-roaming@ec.europa.eu