null Finland supports continuation of roaming regulation
Finland supports continuation of roaming regulation
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation that would prolong the current roaming rules for ten years until summer 2032. The proposal puts forward a reduction in maximum wholesale charges in 2022 and 2025. The Government submitted a letter to Parliament concerning the Commission proposal on 8 April 2021.
The Commission proposal relates to the ‘roam-like-at-home’ (RLAH) policy implemented in summer 2017 that essentially abolished customer roaming charges. The practical outcome of this policy for consumers was that the prices of mobile calls and mobile data use generally became the same as at home throughout the territory of the European Union. The price caps under the proposed Regulation would concern the wholesale charges levied by telecommunications operators, whose maximum level is prescribed in a temporary Regulation remaining in force until summer 2022. This Regulation also includes other rules governing roaming, which will continue in a broadly similar way to the current practice under the Commission proposal.
While the Government strongly supports continued regulation of wholesale charges, it considers that the regulated wholesale prices should reflect the true costs with optimal precision. Sufficiently low wholesale prices are particularly important for Finland, partly because the subscriptions of a significant proportion of consumers include unlimited data packages. The Government finds that a maximum regulated level of wholesale prices that is too high could exert pressure to increase domestic prices for mobile services.
The Commission proposal also includes new provisions on the use of emergency services, quality of service and value-added services. These could ensure that consumers have access to emergency services free of charge and provide consumers with the same quality of roaming services as at home throughout the territory of the European Union. The Government finds these objectives to be worthy of support, having regard nevertheless to the requirement that the provisions should not constrain the ability of a telecommunications operator to enter into commercially profitable roaming agreements.
What are the next steps?
The Council Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society will continue to discuss the draft Regulation, which will also be considered on the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).
Katariina Vuorela, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 29 534 2029, katariina.vuorela(at)lvm.fi, Twitter @vuorelakata