MVNO Europe has always strongly advocated the end of retail roaming charges in Europe. However, an effective ‘roaming-free’ Europe is conditioned to a substantial reduction of regulated international roaming wholesale caps.
Why does MVNO Europe demand a reform of wholesale caps?
MVNOs do not host inbound roamers on their networks and hence are unilateral buyers of wholesale roaming access. Although significant purchases are made, MVNOs have essentially no bargaining power to negotiate international roaming deals with individual Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). Today, wholesale international roaming charges are a large multiple of domestic wholesale roaming prices and this should be considered alarming with a view to the introduction of roam-like-at-home (RLAH). In a context of gradual suppression of retail roaming surcharges, MVNOs face a risk of margin squeeze and thus market eviction, should the wholesale caps be not adequatly reduced.
How has MVNO Europe worked with policymakers?
Since 2013, MVNO Europe has advocated for a true Telecom Single Market and its members have been actively engaged in the decision-making process at European level. Supporting the underlying assumption that a Digital Single Market needs a truly unified telecom market to thrive, we have recalled on many occasions that this must not be done at the expense of competition. As part of our engagement activities, MVNO Europe has responded to the consultation on measures related to the end of roaming surcharges in Europe, providing the Commission with evidences on how crucial a reform of the wholesale market is to smaller mobile operators.
What are the next steps?
MVNO Europe continues to provide input to the European Commission to help in its on-going work to achieve the end of retail roaming surcharges. We also work on issues that are closely interlinked with the regulation of roaming, such as the convergence of Mobile Termination Rates and specific rules for Machine-to-Machine connectivity. Today, more than ever, we are dedicated to achieving a healthy competitive telecoms market.