“Roam-like-at-home is an unprecedented European success story. It shows how we all directly benefit from the EU Single Market”, said Angelika Winzig MEP, the European Parliament’s negotiator for the new roaming rules for mobile networks.
Today, Members of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee will vote for the revision of the Roaming Regulation in order to extend the current rules for the upcoming 10 years.
“We want to cut costs further and improve the quality of service for all European citizens. This is an opportunity for us to add some notable improvements which will benefit European citizens and businesses without having disruptive effects for mobile network operators”, said Winzig.
The maximum prices that operators charge each other when consumers use other networks while roaming is an essential element for the sustainability of roam-like-at-home for operators, especially for smaller mobile network operators that are not part of a big pan-European group.
The European Commission’s proposal already saw the need for a gradual reduction of the caps, but was not progressive enough to reflect market realities. Data volumes have been increasing steadily over the past years and it gets more and more difficult for smaller operators to offer roam-like-at-home services in a sustainable way. These developments can have a negative effect on competition and therefore on prices consumers pay and the quality they get, even on their domestic networks.
“This is why significantly reducing wholesale caps is beneficial to the market and consumers alike. It would enable more competition, which would increase the possibilities for better prices for consumers and enterprises”, said Winzig.
These new rules will also mandate the European Commission to gather as much data as possible to react to changes, foster innovation and facilitate business developments. “The mobile communications market as a whole and especially the roaming market are evolving fast. We need to keep a finger on the pulse of the market to ensure stability”, said Winzig.
“We are making sure that consumers will know what kind of internet speed they will have when roaming in each Member State and that they will have access to an efficient complaint mechanism in case this speed is not delivered. Consumers will be protected from excessive bills caused by connections with non-EU networks, as well as satellite networks when travelling on ships or planes. We are making sure that consumers can stop or avoid such connections”, concluded Róża Thun MEP, who negotiated the law in Parliament’s Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection.
Today’s vote will give Winzig a mandate to start negotiations with the Council of Ministers.