The Future of (EU) Mobile Roaming

POSTED BY Nitin Bhas
Following a number of negotiations and policy reversals with state governments and operators, the EU Parliament finally voted in October 2015 to end mobile roaming charges in the EU by 2017. First introduced in 2007, the Eurotariff caps on roaming prices were imposed on operators, thereby ensuring unique and transparent roaming prices for all mobile roaming users in the EU. These Eurotariff prices were reviewed over time and prices were set for voice calls, SMS and data services.

The EU roaming regulation adopted over the years has established caps on mobile tariffs and an automatic safeguard against data roaming bill shocks and for price transparency.

Impact of Mobile Roaming in EU

Juniper Research believes that the implementation of the EU roaming regulation will primarily have 2 major effects in the short term:
An increase in the number of active roamers and usage within EU;
Decrease in the average roaming spend per user per annum.
Our recently published research on Mobile Roaming: Regulations, Opportunities & Emerging Sectors found that operator-billed mobile roaming revenues are expected to experience a marked decline in 2017 as these new EU regulations come into force. 

The annual revenues, worth an estimated $52 billion in 2017, will fall by 7% globally, but by 28% in Europe with operators obliged to phase out any premiums currently for international calls, text and data while roaming within the EU.