International Roaming: Analysis of the impacts of “Roam Like at Home” (RLAH)
On 11 September 2013, the European Commission (EC) tabled a proposal for a Regulation laying down measures concerning the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent (the Regulation), including proposals designed to offer operators an incentive to enable their customers to use their phones when travelling throughout the EU, while paying domestic rates.
On 17 October 2013 the BEREC published its views on the proposed Regulation. In relation to the roaming proposals, BEREC stated that it “would prefer to see progress made towards the reduction of roaming charges to zero, as far as possible within the existing legal framework of Roaming III. It is already anticipated that a report on Roaming III will be tabled in 2016, and if legislators want to move faster than currently contemplated, then BEREC would recommend that they begin to develop proposals to eliminate roaming charges to take effect once current price caps expire”.
On 3 April 2014, the European Parliament (EP) adopted at first reading a legislative resolution on the proposed Regulation, which contained a proposal to abolish the retail roaming surcharges in order to allow customers to “Roam Like at Home” (RLAH) subject to a fair use limit. On 17 May 2014, BEREC published its views on the EP proposals stating that, while the EP amendments represented an improvement on the EC’s proposals, some of the problems of regulatory uncertainty BEREC had identified with the EC’s original proposals remained.
On 9 April 2014, BEREC received a request from the EC for advice in assessing the state of the wholesale roaming market and defining the so-called fair use criteria, in order to inform discussions between the EC and the co-legislators, and help enable a smooth and predictable transition in the mobile market to any new requirements.
Therefore BEREC developed analysis of the impacts of the RLAH, which was approved by the Board of Regulators by electronic voting procedure on 17 December 2014 (provided below). The analysis presented in the document is based on the information received from NRAs in all Member States, from operators’ and stakeholders’ answers to a questionnaire, as well as inputs received from stakeholders during and after the BEREC Stakeholder Forum which took place on 16 October 2014.