The European Council has adopted a regulation on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the EU (PE-CONS 20/12). The objective is to establish a common approach to ensure that roaming users do not pay excessive prices for Union-wide roaming services when travelling within the Union.
The regulation will be published in the EU Official Journal of June 30 2012.
The new legislation revises the current regulation, which will expire on June 30 2012, by introducing pro-competitive structural measures and extending its validity until June 30 2022.
The structural measures introduced by this regulation aim to tackle the lack of competition and consumer choice which leads to high roaming prices. From July 1 2014, customers will be allowed to sign up for an alternative mobile roaming offer, separate from their contract for national mobile services, whilst using the same phone number. The regulation sets out the conditions for wholesale access to public mobile communications networks to provide roaming services. In addition, in order to allow alternative operators to enter the roaming market, the regulation allows for a reasonable margin between the tariff ceilings for wholesale and retail prices. The regulation also lays down rules aimed at increasing price transparency and improving the provision of information on charges to roaming customers.
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications will be involved in the technical implementation of the regulation.
The Commission will review the functioning of this regulation and will report to the European Parliament and the Council no later than June 30 2016.