December - 2016


Roaming: The council of the European Union sets out its position on the wholesale roaming tariffs

On 2 December 2016, the Council of the European Union adopted a general guidance on the wholesale roaming tariffs that each telecom operator charges to other telecom operator who uses its mobile network for the purpose of the provision of roaming services.

The Council considers that the maximum wholesale rates should be as follow:

- 0,0353 euros per minute of voice telephony and

- 0,01 euro per SMS.

These tariffs are not expected to change a lot during the dialogue phase to come between the Council and the European Parliament, as the later issued approximately the same figures in its resolution adopted on 29 November 2016.

On the other hand, discussions on mobile data wholesale tariffs are expected to raise more difficulties.

As a matter of fact, the Parliament envisaged a cap of 4 euros per gigabyte with a progressive decrease down to 1 euro in 2020 whereas the Council is considering a considerably higher limit: 10 euros per gigabyte with a decrease down to 5 euros in 2021.

Furthermore, the wholesale roaming tariffs for data are a critical issue due to the exponential rise of mobile data usage.

To meet the end of roaming charges deadline set for 15 June 2017 by the regulation dated 25 November 2015, the Parliament and Council must reach an agreement within a short timeframe.

Juris Initiative – Anne-Solène Gay – Behring – roaming – June 2017 – wholesale rate market – operators – European Parliament – 29 November 2016 – Members States – Council of the European Union – 2 December 2016 – Council Statement