International roaming regulation
Regulation on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union‚ (No. 531/2012)
The Regulation (EU) No. 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union introduced structural measures aiming at enhancing competition in the EU international roaming market. Specifically, as of 1 July 2014, this Regulation introduced an obligation for operators to allow their customers the access to roaming services offered by alternative roaming provider who has signed with a customer´s domestic provider a wholesale contract for access for the purpose of resale of roaming services. Neither domestic provider nor the provider of roaming services shall prevent customers from accessing regulated data roaming services provided directly on a visited network by an alternative roaming provider. The aim of this structural measure is to achieve increasing of customer´s choice and its greater awareness about the prices of roaming services.
On the basis of the Regulation No. 531/2012 the European Commission issued Commission Implementing Regulation ( EU) No. 1203/2012, on the separate sale of regulated retail roaming services within the Union , by which it laid down detailed rules for the separate sale of regulated retail roaming services across the Union, including detailed rules of the technical solution for the implementation of the separate sale of services and detailed rules on the information obligations of domestic providers towards their roaming customers concerning the possibility to opt for roaming services provided by any alternative roaming provider.
With respect to the Regulation No. 531/2012 and the Commission Implementing Regulation No. 1203/2012 the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) issued the general guidelines on the technical elements necessary for the implementation of the separate sale of roaming services.
Through the Regulation No. 531/2012 also retail and wholesale prices for roaming voice, SMS and data roaming services are regulated. After the last reduction of maximum regulated prices as of 1 July 2014 the current wholesale price caps remain valid until 30 June 2022. The current maximum retail price caps remain valid until 30 June 2017. Each year after the year 2015 price caps expressed in currencies other than the euro are adjusted by the reference exchange rates published by the European Central Bank in the Official Journal of the European Union and shall apply from 1 July.