Dutch mobile providers given 4 weeks to improve EU roaming service quality

ACM: when roaming, telecom providers must apply the same conditions as at home

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Dutch regulator ACM has warned mobile operators over the quality of their EU roaming services, after finding some did not always adhere to the ‘roam like at home’ rules in the EU.
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The providers have four weeks, until the spring holidays, to improve their service or face action from the regulator.

Mobile internet has become indispensable in society, including during holidays abroad.

Henk Don, ACM board member: ‘We have found that a number of telecom providers offer lower internet quality when roaming within the EU than in the Netherlands, while the same quality is available. As a result, it is not possible, for example, to watch Netflix in HD quality without a hitch. We want providers to ensure that they offer the best quality mobile internet available before the start of the spring break. If 4G is available, customers who also have 4G at home must be able to use it.

ACM Investigation of EU roaming services quality

The ACM has conducted research into the quality of EU roaming services during a stay abroad. It sometimes happens that 4G is not yet available in every area, so 3G or even 2G is used. But the ACM study also shows that providers sometimes do not offer 4G while it is available.

This means that Dutch customers pay for 4G services in those cases, but cannot use them abroad.

Net neutrality

The ACM started the investigation to gather knowledge about traffic management; a collection of techniques that is used to steer the internet traffic on telecom networks in the right direction. In that context, the ACM investigated whether Dutch telecom providers apply measures that distinguish between content or applications of internet traffic. That turned out not to be the case. All providers have also set up processes to ensure that measures in this area are tested against the principles of net neutrality. Following discussions with the ACM, a number of providers have clarified information about traffic management in the general terms and conditions. The ACM concludes that the traffic management of the telecom providers meets the requirements of net neutrality.


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