The Position of the President of the Office of Electronic Communications on the new rules of international roaming applicable on the territory of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA).
The number of mobile telephony subscribers is growing every day. The increase of saturation with mobile services directly translates into the number of users who have the ability to use roaming services.
In order to enable European consumers to freely communicate within the whole territory of the European Union, in 2006 European Commission launched works on the introduction of legal solutions that were supposed to significantly and systematically lower the level of prices of retail services in roaming on the EU territory. To reach the desired effect, the subsequent regulations were introduced, foreseeing lowering of retail prices and wholesale charges in roaming. The first roaming regulation came into force on 30 June 2007. In the following years it has been amended a few times. The last amendment was adopted on 25 November 2015 (hereinafter: 2015 Regulation), introducing substantial changes concerning both mobile telephony users and mobile operators. It is also worth to emphasise that the 2015 Regulation amends some provisions of the previous regulations, leaving other provisions binding.
The rules introduced in 2007 and amended in the following years have led to significant lowering of prices for roaming consumers. The underlying goal was to reach a situation in which a customer would be able to freely (regardless of the cost of services) communicate when roaming, no matter in which of the EU countries he/she currently is. Recital 21 of Regulation 2015 „... establishes the policy objective that the difference between roaming and domestic tariffs should approach zero".
Regulation 2015 introduces an important, both from the client and operator's point of view, mechanism of charges for services in international roaming within the EU/EEA area. According to this mechanism, the retail price of service in roaming should be similar to the price paid by the subscriber in his/her domestic country. In other words, every European consumer who uses mobile services abroad should pay a price which actually results from his/her tariff plan, and is not rigidly set in the regulation.
The position presents timeframe for the functioning of new solutions, the mechanism for setting domestic retail price and applying surcharge, the maximum level of surcharges in the transitional period, safety cap for data transmission, and operators' information obligations towards subscribers.We encourage you to read the full position available in the attached file (in Polish)