Mobile Virtual Network Operators are disappointed with the EU decision on wholesale roaming price caps, saying the data rate has been set “much too high”. The EU institutions agreed a glide path starting at EUR 7.7 per GB from June and going down to EUR 2.5 per GB in 2021. This is still well above the rate proposed earlier by the European Parliament of EUR 1 per GB.
The industry group MVNO Europe said the high rates will “strongly affect competition” and make it difficult for MVNOs to recover their costs. It could also lead to higher overall prices for Europeans, it said, noting that many retail customers are already paying EUR 1-2 per GB.
In particular the fair-use roaming rules approved earlier will make it difficult for mobile providers to offer ‘roam like home’ to customers. the association said. Under these rules, the amount of data prepaid users and subscribers with unlimited plans can use while roaming is based on the wholesale price cap.
MVNO Europe Vice-President Innocenzo Genna said in a statement: “European citizens expect the end of the roaming surcharges to happen without losing competitive tariffs and innovative offers: by contrast, with the present deal on wholesale caps, they will be heavily disappointed.”