think digital
ETNO
European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association

2011

| ETNO

RD344 - ETNO Response to the Public Consultation on the Review of the Functioning of Regulation (EC) No 544/2009 (the "Roaming Regulation")


If measured against the initial rationale of the roaming regulation, current regulation has reached its prime objective to protect consumers. Future regulation should carefully balance this objective with other policy goals, based on an assessment of costs and benefits. The roaming target in the Digital Agenda for Europe of lowering the difference between national and roaming charges to close to zero by 2015, should be seen as one potential means to achieve the policy goals regarding roaming, not as a policy objective in itself. Such an approach risks creating major distortions of competition and further increases regulatory costs. Legislative proposals should be subject to a thorough impact assessment.

EU policy to roaming should be consistent with the principles of the EU electronic communications framework, in particular with the principles of necessity and proportionality. Some of the regulatory options considered could lead to a competition regime which is not aligned with the existing regulatory framework. Some approaches would put at risk other goals of the Digital Agenda such as universal access to broadband networks for EU citizens.

As documented by the BEREC report on roaming regulation, wholesale data roaming charges are subject to competitive pressures. Growing data volumes and pressure from established alternatives to mobile roaming for accessing data communication from abroad will moreover accelerate the trend towards attractive data roaming retail offers, justifying a light-touch approach to the growing data roaming market.



Executive Summary:

If measured against the initial rationale of the roaming regulation, current regulation has reached its prime objective to protect consumers

  • Whereas the current approach to international roaming regulation has imposed high costs on the sector it has achieved its stated objective to protect consumers against roaming prices perceived as overly high and to increase transparency. Future regulation should carefully balance this objective with other policy goals, based on an assessment of costs and benefits.

The DAE roaming target should be seen as one potential means to achieve the policy goals regarding roaming, not as a policy objective in itself

  • Any legislative proposals following the current review should be subject to a thorough impact assessment in the light of the policy goals pursued by the measure. The Commission, in its Digital Agenda for Europe, has expressed its belief that the policy objectives, such as protecting consumers and fostering the internal market, could best be reached by lowering the difference between national and roaming charges to close to zero by 2015. Such an approach risks creating major distortions of competition and further increases regulatory costs. Other policy approaches should be considered, which may be equally efficient in reaching the desired policy goals, but at lower cost.

EU policy to roaming should be consistent with the principles of the EU electronic communications framework and proportionate to the goals pursued

  • Any regulatory approach to roaming must be aligned with the broader framework for electronic communication and in particular with the principles of necessity and proportionality. Some of the regulatory options considered in the consultation raise serious concerns in this respect as they seem to go beyond the objectives of roaming regulation and could lead to a competition regime which is not aligned with the existing regulatory framework. This in particular relates to regulation based on domestic prices in the home market and the so-called ‘access-based approaches’. These approaches would put at risk other goals of the Digital Agenda such as universal access to broadband networks for EU citizens.

Data markets are characterised by a strong dynamic, innovation and price decreases which should lead to a cautious regulatory approach

  • As documented by the BEREC report on roaming regulation, wholesale data roaming charges are subject to competitive pressures. Growing data volumes and pressure from established alternatives to mobile roaming for accessing data communication from abroad will moreover accelerate the trend towards attractive data roaming retail offers, justifying a light-touch approach to the growing data roaming market.


Members & Observers - View companies map

  • A1 Telekom Austria Group
  • Albtelecom
  • Altice Portugal
  • BH Telecom
  • BT
  • CYTA (Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
  • Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Eir
  • Elisa Communications Corporation
  • GO Plc (Malta)
  • Hrvatski Telekom
  • Koninklijke KPN
  • Magyar Telekom
  • Makedonski Telekom
  • Orange
  • Orange Polska
  • OTE
  • POST Group
  • Proximus
  • Síminn (Iceland Telecom Ltd.)
  • Slovak Telekom
  • Swisscom
  • TDC
  • TDF
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefónica
  • TELEKOM ROMANIA COMMUNICATIONS S.A.
  • Telekom Slovenije
  • Telenor
  • Telia Company
  • Turk Telekom
  • Vivacom
  • AT&T
  • Cisco
  • Ericsson
  • Huawei
  • Nokia
  • Prysmian Group
  • Qualcomm Europe Inc.
  • Verizon

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