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Review of the wholesale roaming market in the EU

EESC opinion: Review of the wholesale roaming market in the EU

  • The EESC  supports the Commission's initiatives to achieve "roam-like-at-home" from 15 June 2017 as well as its efforts to eliminate the failures of the wholesale roaming market, which risk jeopardising this objective, before that point.
  • Along with abolishing roaming charges, pre-emptive measures will be necessary to prevent operators from compensating for the drop in revenue resulting from the abolition of roaming charges by increasing domestic charges or by means of other improper practices.
  • However, the EESC expresses serious reservations about the new possibility given to operators by the proposal in question to negotiate "innovative wholesale pricing schemes" outside the regulated prices (caps) that would not be directly linked to the actual volumes consumed. Commercial negotiations based on flat payments, up-front commitments or capacity are likely to lead to cartels and abuses of dominant positions by large operators and by those with access to a network that has national coverage, to the detriment of small operators and virtual mobile network operators, which will serve only to bolster the existing oligopolies and bilateral roaming agreements that the Commission considers to be the source of the market's current failures.

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The review of national wholesale roaming markets and the Roaming Regulation