EU agrees on wholesale data roaming charges

On 1 February, EC announced that the representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed on how to regulate wholesale roaming markets, as the last step towards the end of roaming charges by 15 June 2017. EU negotiators agreed on the following wholesale caps: €0.032 per 1 min of voice call and €0.01 per SMS, as of 15 June 2017. According to the press release, EU negotiators also agreed on a step by step reduction over 5 years for data caps decreasing from €7.7/GB (as of 15 June 2017) to €2.5 per GB (as of 1 January 2022).

The final decision of EC is not favorable for Polish operators (and other telcos from Northern and Eastern Europe), which called for a stronger reduction in prices. In this region, prices of mobile services are relatively cheap, so meeting the rules of roam-like-at-home (at higher wholesale prices) means higher costs for them. The draft regulation on RLAH states that in such situations, a system of subsidies should be introduced. The local regulator of the telecommunications market has the final word on this matter.