The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has released its 9th report on international roaming on European public mobile telephone networks, covering the period between 1 July and 31 December 2011.
BEREC's study shows that levels of compliance with the Roaming Regulation (EC Regulation no. 717/2007 of 27 June, as subsequently amended by EC Regulation no. 544/2009 of 18 June) remained high in all countries of the European Economic Area - EEA (Member States of the European Union, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein where EC Regulation no 544/2009 only came into force in 2nd quarter 2010, with Regulation no. 717/2007 applying previously).
The information compiled by BEREC indicates that all consumers have access to a Eurotariff and a Euro-SMS tariff; that is a tariff where the maximum prices for voice communications (calls made and received) and for sending SMS (short message service) using intra-EU/EEA roaming do not exceed the maximum values stipulated in the regulation.
For calls made, the European average Eurotariff (calculated combining data from all countries which responded to the BEREC questionnaire) fell from 0.320 euros in 3rd quarter 2011 to 0.313 euros in 4th quarter 2011 (below the Eurotariff cap of 0.35 euros in the period being reported). In the case of calls received, the Eurotariff average was reported at 0.099 euros per minute in 3rd quarter 2011, and 0.097 euros in 4th quarter 2011 (below the cap of 0.11 euros per minute applying to the Eurotariff in the period).
According to the BEREC study, the average price of the Euro-SMS tariff was approximately 0.10 euros per SMS in the last two quarters of 2011, below the maximum cap of 0.11 euros per SMS applying to the Euro-SMS tariff under the regulation.
When it comes to roaming data services, for communications considered "non-group" (traffic other than between entities within the same group where such entities are fully-owned or majority-owned by the group), average intra-EEA tariffs continued to decline. In the case of pre-paid tariffs, a reduction was reported from 1.709 euros per megabyte (Mb) in 3rd quarter 2011 to 1.585 euros per Mb in 4th quarter 2011. In the case of post-paid tariffs, the average intra-EEA tariff was 1.609 euros per Mb in 3rd quarter 2011 and 1.505 euros per Mb in 4th quarter 2011.
At wholesale level, prices between operators for roaming voice communications were reported in line with the corresponding maximum ceiling established under the Regulation, which is also the case with wholesale charges for the transfer of SMS and other data communications services.
For voice communications, the average wholesale rate was 0.168 euros and 0.172 euros per minute billed respectively in 3rd and 4th quarters 2011, under the established cap of 0.18 euros per minute.
With regard to SMS, the average "non-group" wholesale tariff, in the EEA, remained at 0.037 euros per SMS in 3rd and 4th quarters 2011, with the maximum average tariff established in the regulation at 0.04 euros per SMS.
The average wholesale rate applicable to "non-group" communications data, in the EEA, was 0.213 euros and 0.204 euros per Mb, respectively in 3rd and 4th quarters of 2011, with the cap established by the regulation as 0.50 euros per Mb.