Since 15 June 2017, except in a few cases duly authorised by national regulators to avoid any increase in domestic prices, mobile operators in the EU/EEA are not allowed to levy any roaming surcharges for any fair usage of roaming services by their customers.
We have seen broadly successful implementation of the new roaming rules, overall consumer satisfaction, and a significant increase in travelers’ roaming data consumption as well as substantial increases in roaming voice calls since 15 June 2017.
According to the latest BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Report, the average retail revenue per user has increased slightly overall in the EU/EEA since June 2017.
National regulatory authorities are responsible for monitoring and enforcing EU roaming rules in the Member States. It is therefore necessary that they are conferred in all Member States with the appropriate sanctioning powers in case of non-compliance with those rules.
According to the report, more than 96% of EU/EEA subscribers are roaming-enabled. About 90% of the roaming traffic in the EU/EEA is ‘roam-like-at-home’. Sustainability derogations have been granted by national regulators to operators falling into categories that were meant to be likely candidates for the derogation, i.e. some mobile virtual network operators in several countries and some mobile network operators in some of the very low data price countries with high roaming imbalances and/or low
revenue per user (EE, LT, FI, PL).
Even in the latter countries, roaming traffic subject to the small surcharge makes up less than 30% of roaming traffic (except for LT). In total, less than 1% of EU/EEA roaming data traffic (less than 4% for voice) is subject to a small roaming surcharge due to a derogation (RLAH+).
According to the report, in summer 2018 roaming data traffic was multiplied by 12 in the EU/EEA compared to summer 2016 (last summer before RLAH, see below figure). For voice, the increase in roaming traffic was by a factor 3. The increase in outbound roaming traffic has been particularly high for PL, RO, LV, BG, HR and ES operators.
Source: Idate Digiworld, Communications Committee – European Commission