Will Russia cancel roaming before end of 2017?

Business man and woman text messaging together

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service expects the national roaming to be canceled in November-early December of 2017, the deputy head of the FAS Anatoly Golomolzin said.

“Communications service providers declare their readiness to reduce prices for communication services in national roaming, I think in November, maybe in early December,” RIA Novosti cited him as saying.

According to the Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, the consensus on this issue is close.

Earlier, Golomolzin said that the FAS planned to resolve the issue of canceling national roaming in Russia within nine months.

READ MORE: Russia, Armenia sign memorandum on lower roaming rates

Russian Academy of Natural Sciences’ academician, expert of the Expert Council of the Russian Government,Lubov Khrapylina, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the cancellation of roaming in Russia has long been overdue. “You can see that people abroad commicate a lot in roaming, because there are no such roaming tariffs in the world. The desire of both clients and government agencies to reduce these tariffs is quite natural, but I still doubt that it will happen in Russia. On the contrary, many experts expect that the pricing of communications services will soon increase,” she said.

The expert drew attention that the FAS has been dealing with this problem for several years. “And here I would not link the FAS statements with the upcoming events of March 2018, as the service has been raising this issue for several years. While all the time there are arguments from the companies that they cannot do it yet by virtue of the technical or finance problems. But roaming is an obvious problem, and the FAS must react to such situations,” Lyubov Khrapylina emphasized.

READ MORE: Roaming solutions ⋆ Alert

The vice-rector of the Academy of Labour and Social Relations Alexander Safonov, admitted that the FAS was able to actually conduct effective negotiations with mobile operators. “Most likely, the service was able to convince the operators that there are no difficulties in transferring domestic roaming to tariffs in one region. I recall that such a situation exists in the European Union. Our companies need to move to this practice,” he said.

“The main reason why the FAS deals with this problem is connected with the fact that cellular communication has become the main type of telephone communication. It is very important that the FAS was able to prove to operators that they not just have technical capabilities for canceling roaming, but also the absence of risks for their business. It is possible that the actions of the FAS are stimulated by the approaching presidential elections,” Alexander Safonov noted.

The expert recalled that domestic roaming is an invention of Russian companies. “Initially, it was due to the fact that our companies financed the development of their networks. Now there are no economic prerequisites for demanding further preservation of higher tariffs,” the vice-rector of the Academy of Labour and Social Relations concluded. Source

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