EC proposes new roaming regulation measures

On the 6th July 2011, the European Commission (EC) presented a proposal to review current European roaming regulations, where structural measures aimed at promoting competitiveness were submitted for the first time, offering customers the option to subscribe to a less expensive roaming agreement from the 1st July 2014 onwards, regardless of the mobile telephone service agreements available in individual countries and allowing customers to keep their mobile numbers.

While it is awaited for the proposed structural measures to produce all the effects intended by the EC, the following is foreseen:

  • Maintenance until 2016 of retail limits for the Eurotariff and Euro-SMS tariff, with a progressive reduction in the corresponding values - e.g., the maximum amount charged for a regulated voice call (roaming call within the EU/EEA, i.e., between European Union members, as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein – European Economic Area) made by a Eurotariff subscriber would be lowered from the current 35 cents to 24 cents (1st July 2014);

  • Introduction of an obligation for all operators to implement a retail rate, also subject to an upper limit, for regulated data roaming (within the EU/EEA) (effective until 2016) – the Commission proposes that subscribers to this new rate should pay a maximum of 90 cents per downloaded megabyte (MB), from the 1st July 2012 onwards, which would be subsequently lowered to 50 cents per MB, in July 2014 (charged by kilobyte effectively used);

  • As already occurs for regulated roaming voice and SMS communications, within whose scope operators are allowed to implement other rates, in addition to the Eurotariff and the Euro-SMS tariff, it is also foreseen that operators should be able to implement other rates for regulated data roaming, in addition to the retail rate to be established by the new regulations;

  • Maintenance of upper limits for wholesale rates between operators for all regulated roaming communications until 2022 (voice, SMS and data), in order to create a safe investment environment for alternative operators - these limits may be abolished before 2022 if market indicators evidence that sufficient competitive development has been achieved.
Current upper limits and limits proposed by the EC for the Eurotariff, the Euro-SMS tariff and the new rate to be implemented for regulated data roaming (not including VAT)



1st July 2012

1st July 2013

1st July 2014

Data (per MB)


90 cents

70 cents

50 cents

Dialled calls (per minute)

35 cents

32 cents

28 cents

24 cents

Received calls (per minute)

11 cents

11 cents

10 cents

10 cents

SMS (per SMS)

11 cents

10 cents

10 cents

10 cents


This EC proposal, which shall be discussed by the European Union Council of Ministers, took into account a review of current European Roaming Regulations, whose report has been published. In the document issued by the Commission, it is concluded that current regulations were able to temporarily lower roaming call and SMS rates, but have failed to solve the problem of lack of competition within this market, with prices remaining close to upper retail rates.


Further information: