Abolition of EU roaming charges – EY commentary

14 June 2017

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Adrian Baschnonga, Global Lead Telecommunications Analyst, EY comments on the abolition of roaming charges within the EU which comes into effect on June 15th:

Impact on consumers:

“As the final step in a decade long process, the abolition of roaming surcharges is great news for consumers. The era of ‘bill shock’ for phone users travelling in the EU is drawing to a close.

“However, the prospect of usage caps on unlimited data plans could create some measure of confusion for users. As a result, operators must ensure they communicate clearly with their customers to help build trust in the new system.”

Impact on operators:

“Fair usage policies designed to prevent commercial or consumer abuse of the new rules are unavoidably complex. Although they offer operators some flexibility, monitoring travellers and their phone usage will no doubt be burdensome for operators.

“The fact that mobile prices, service usage and travel patterns vary significantly across European countries means that the impact on operators will also vary. Smaller mobile providers, or those hosting a large number of travellers, may face a greater challenge than their competitors.”

Regulatory issues:

“Achieving political and industry consensus on roaming regulation has proved challenging, particularly in recent months. Regulators face an ongoing task to ensure that operators comply with the new rules, with domestic mobile prices likely to be a key area of scrutiny.”