5 questions about roaming in EU


Just when we thought that we could forget about one of the biggest problems of phone operators, it results that we can’t forget about the idea. Despite that European Parliament has fixed deadline on 15 December 2015 to stop charging roaming in European countries, it seems that finally this action is postponed. With these 5 questions, and corresponding answers, we try to clarify a little bit the issue.

What is roaming and why it’s a problem?

For beginners, it’s necessary to explain the essential. Roaming makes reference to phone line usage when we are outside the territory where phone line is provided. For advanced, that makes reference to phone usage while abroad. For this usage, operators pay a tax to the operator of the Country of destination, which leads to cost for users when they call, surf or send messages.

Will it end someday roaming in European countries?

Initially yes, and the planned date is the year 2018, although the more optimistic believe that could end on 2016. New dates were proposed by telecommunication regulators from the different countries (among them Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission, CNMC), in a report published on December, which ensures that such elimination is not feasible for companies.

Why decision about roaming was postponed?

Basically, because operators don’t want stop gaining extra benefits resulting from such service charge. Furthermore, they are supported by BEREC, the organism that cover all European regulators from telecommunications sector. This approach is colliding with some member countries position. Indeed, last year on July, the European regulation that obliges to reduce price of roaming services, has already entered on force, which indicated a reduction of 21% in the average price of calls from abroad.

What is the position of Spain regarding to this issue?

Both operators from our Country and CNMC are opposed to such elimination of roaming charge. Due to our condition of touristic Country, roaming results very lucrative business in Spain, and that’s why the regulator organism is in favor to maintain this practice.

 It makes sense to maintain roaming in EU?

In Weplan we think that not. According to consumer’s associations complaints as Facua, Spanish operators charge up to ten times more than they pay in other countries. Furthermore, in such environment as EU where borders that are tending to vanish, the logical procedure is eliminated such practice definitely.