The general lines of the European Commission’s draft Regulation on international roaming tariffs were released today. This draft Regulation is to be presented to the Council and the European Parliament in June next and the Regulation will predictably come into force in the second half of 2007.
The draft Regulation should thus include the following key ideas:
- to ponder the tariffs between operators (wholesale prices) guaranteeing that national operators do not charge other countries’ operators with prices way above the real cost;
- to regulate the retail sector in order to guarantee that the operators’ savings at the wholesale level are reflected on consumers;
- all roaming tariffs for receiving calls in other EU Members States may be eliminated; and
- regarding calls made from foreign countries within the UE, the “domestic price” - or “price of the country of origin” - principle may be applied. According to this principle, a land mobile service customer travelling to another EU Member State should only pay the prices that they usually pay at the country where they reside.
Based on these principles, the second phase of the public consultation on the draft Regulation will be launched from 3 to 28 April 2006. The first phase took place last February.
Also at the community level, and recognizing the contribution of international roaming to promote electronic communications, the last European Council, held on 23 and 24 March last week, highlighted “the importance of the decrease in roaming tariffs for competitiveness.”
The European Commission’s roaming service website was updated today. Among other information, it includes examples of prepaid and post-paid tariffs applied to voice calls and written messages, done and sent to and from Portugal, in roaming, to Spain, France, Hungary, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Sweden.
Lastly, ANACOM will soon devote an area of this website to international roaming. Its purpose is to help increase tariff transparency and to inform users of the main tariff and usage rules applying to this service. This will be made in connection with a joint initiative of the European Commission and of the national regulatory authorities (NRA) of the European Union’s Member States, gathered in the European Regulators Group (ERG).