EU-Roaming – The Lowest End Cuts the Cord

In a few months, the next state of EU roaming regulation will come into effect and network operators must charge the same prices in the EU as at home. Already last year, however, I was wondering if some network operators will respond by simply not offering international roaming anymore. And indeed, I’ve noticed the first German MVNO doing so now for some of his tariffs.

While many network operators and MVNOs in Germany have started to include EU roaming in their tariffs, even in their low end prepaid contracts, one of them has now gone the other way. “DeutschlandSIM” an MVNO going after the low end of the low end has just increased the amount of data that can be had from them for €5 a month from 200 MB (a joke, yes…) to 750 MB. In return, international roaming is disabled in this new tariff or can be had separately in a different tariff for €3.

Yes, this is the low end of the low end but I still wonder if they decided to become the guinea pig of the industry and see how the national regulator reacts? Perhaps this move is still within the telecommunication regulation law. However, will it still be if they ‘evolve’ their offer to enable their customers to temporarily switch-on international roaming for a limited period of time for an extra fee? I’d say the current approach is perhaps still borderline, especially because they have higher priced ‘national’ offers as well. The second one would be definitely against the spirit of a single EU telecoms market, however.

So let’s turn the stick around and instead of being outraged see it as an early wakeup call for regulators to sharpen regulation to make an EU-wide single telecom market a reality.

Original Source: Teltarif

One thought on “EU-Roaming – The Lowest End Cuts the Cord”

  1. Given that it roaming data volumes are expected to soar 16-fold due to EU regulations ( it will also be interesting to see if MNOs are prepared for the anticipated surge in that they have enough capacity to their roaming partners and/or IPXes. I wouldn’t be surprised if bandwidth falls back to 2G levels while roaming from June 15th because of congestions on the IPX links as there is no incentive for MNOs to invest in what will cause losses.
    From a consumer perspective I hope this will finally lead to the implementation of so-called local break out (LBO) which means Internet traffic is routed via the visited network’s PDN Gateway rather than being backhauled to the home operator’s core network, as happening today, which increases latency and adds a bottleneck in terms of bandwidth.
    Perhaps LBO will soon even be offered as a premium service that unlocks the full bandwidth while free roaming will come with bandwidth limitations resulting from capacity limitations on the IPX links.

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