June 15, 2018
The end of roaming in Europe: Progress report, one year on
In accordance with the European Regulation, Europeans have been able to “roam like at home” since 15 June 2017, i.e. to use their mobile phones under the same conditions as they do at home when travelling within the European Union (EU) (1). For the people of France, this same framework applies to roaming in the entire country, i.e. in both Metropolitan France and the French overseas departments and territories (2).
From regulation to implementation: the work performed by Arcep and its European counterparts, and by operators in France …
In the run-up to the implementation of the European Regulation on 15 June 2017, Arcep has had an active hand in the work carried out to prepare for the introduction of “roam like at home”, both within BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, and at the national level by providing French operators with support and information.
Which does not mean that Arcep’s actions ended there. Over the past year, Arcep has worked to guarantee that French people can roam like at home, and pay the same price for their mobile services, when travelling within the EU, through close supervision of operators’ compliance with the new provisions, to ensure that every mobile product in France is compatible with the new regulatory framework. This ongoing supervision has resulted in French operators rectifying inaccuracies in their price schedules, and in the messages they automatically send to customers when they arrive in another country, correcting certain prices, or adjusting some of their products.
… has paid off: only 0.2% of user reports on the “J’alerte l’Arcep” platform concern roaming in Europe
The very rapid increase in roaming usage will necessitate an increase in base tariff plans to help offset the lost revenue; and potentially higher roaming settlement costs. For example : If you are a small country with a low population that has Tourism as a key economic driver; it will mean that the tourist’s home country will be forced to pay more to the roaming country and due to population differences there will NOT be the equivalent offset. The domestic operator will be required to charge more on the base plan for this reason; and also taking into consideration that an International Call & SMS within EU will be capped with a maximum price chargedBack