BEREC Report on Transparency and Comparability of International Roaming Tariffs
The market for electronic communications has been providing a steadily increasing number of offers. Accordingly, users may find it more difficult to compare the various offers as well as to compare the performance parameters of different services. Specific tools to measure consumption could help to create certainty about the offers in order to allow customers to assess and compare prices and offers. Regarding service providers, these tools may help them to differentiate their offers more clearly. Especially in case of data services, considering the increased use of smartphones and tablets, the availability of applications for the most common operating systems would enable customers to take informed decisions based on their patterns of consumption. The selection of an alternative tariff should take into account the possibility to use the regulated tariff and the conditions for the alternative tariff chosen. Such an awareness, together with policies and instruments, which allow customers to estimate their consumption and compare international roaming tariffs, will lead to better informed customer decisions.This Report takes into account the amendments of Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union by the TSM Regulation, (hereafter “Roaming Regulation”). According to Article 6f (2) and Article 6e of the Roaming Regulation roaming providers may apply a surcharge for regulated roaming services in the transitional period (from 30 April 2016 onwards) in addition to the domestic retail price. When a roaming provider applies a surcharge for the consumption of regulated retail roaming services, the sum of the domestic retail price and any surcharge applied must not exceed the price cap set out in Article 6e (1) (b) and (c). Furthermore, the switch from or to the regulated roaming tariff (default tariff) pursuant to Article 6e (3), subparagraph 3 has to be made free of charge within one working day. This provision also applies in the transitional period.In this context, and in accordance with Article 19 (4) of the Roaming Regulation, BEREC is publishing information on transparency and comparability of different tariffs offered by operators to their customers each year.