27 June, 2022
ETNO-GSMA response to the public consultation on the draft BEREC Guidelines on the application of Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 2022/612 of 6 April 2022 on roaming on public communications networks within the Union (Wholesale Roaming Guidelines)
ETNO and the GSMA, who represent the telecoms sector in Europe, welcome the opportunity to comment on BEREC’s Draft Wholesale Roaming Guidelines. ETNO and the GSMA hope the following detailed comments can serve as a constructive contribution to BEREC’s deliberations on its draft Guidelines.
Wholesale roaming provisions
We note that the final Guidelines will not be published until October this year. Given the importance of the Guidelines for implementation of the new Roaming Regulation and the gap between such adoption and the effective date of the Regulation itself, we consider that the immediate update of contracts as implied by the last paragraph of Guideline 1 is disproportionate. We therefore urge BEREC to update the Guidelines to reflect that existing access agreements “need to be gradually updated as necessary to make them consistent with the Roaming Regulation”. This gradual transition is considered in the Regulation in recital 14.
In respect of Guideline 5, we consider that a one-month period for refusal to be provided in writing to the access seeker is too short and that a more appropriate “reasonable timeframe” would be sixty days. This procedure is expected to take longer than the provision of the draft agreement referred to in Art 3(5). In addition we consider that the Guidelines should be amended to reflect that such a period should only commence “after the initial receipt of the complete request by the MNO”. Without a complete request the receiving operator cannot conduct a full evaluation and determine if there are any objective reasons for refusal such as technical feasibility and network integrity.
BEREC states in the second paragraph of Guideline 6 that it “considers that it is reasonable to prioritise requests for 4G services, including VoLTE, if such wholesale roaming agreements are not in place already”. ETNO and the GSMA are of the view that the addition of “while allowing for sufficient implementation time on the side of the visited network” is required to reflect the fact that prioritisation can be best determined by the visited operator and the current wording introduces scope for the provision to be used as unwarranted leverage by the access seeker. The established market practice is that the operator planning to switch-off a network sends its partners periodic reminders, more frequently as the deadline approaches.
Read the whole document at the link below. For questions and clarifications regarding this paper, please contact Xhoana Shehu, Policy Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org).