Insights Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) publishes ninth report on transparency and comparability of international roaming tariffs

The report provides an overview of the transparency and comparability of retail roaming tariffs.

In July 2021, BEREC sent a questionnaire to operators and National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) to gather information for the period August 2020 to July 2021 on two aspects that are key issues for customers when selecting tariffs for international roaming services:

  1. transparency, i.e., the availability of clear information about prices and conditions for each tariff, as well as simple procedures for customers to switch between tariffs; and
  2. the comparability of tariffs, i.e., the ability for customers to compare different types of tariffs offered by operators and to select the one best suited to their needs and patterns of consumption.

BEREC’s report found that:

  • roaming providers make use of Fair Use Policies, with limiting roaming data volumes according to the provisions for open data bundles being the most popular;
  • a total of 15 applications for sustainability surcharges (available where providers cannot recover their actual and projected costs of providing regulated roaming services under the Roaming Regulation) were received during the relevant period, of which 14 were granted;
  • 28% of operators said that they offer alternative roaming tariffs and 59% include non-EEA destinations in addition to the EEA for at least some users, e.g., business users;
  • 40% of operators said that they offer 3G roaming services in the EU/EEA even where 4G would be available, however only 4 % of those operators said that they are not planning to provide 4G roaming services by the end of 2021;
  • 76% of respondent NRAs said that they had received consumer complaints on roaming, but the total number of registered complaints decreased by 45%;
  • 82% of operators that apply a Fair Use Policy also provide information about it in the “Welcome SMS”, a slight decrease from the previous year;
  • 69 % of roaming providers who implemented a Fair Use Policy informed their customers of how the fair use limit is calculated and 92 % said that they provide information about the actual roaming limit;
  • 33 % of NRAs reported that they featured information on their website comparing domestic tariffs including intra-EEA roaming provided by different operators; and
  • 32 % of operators said that they provided end-users with information on how to estimate data services consumption based on the use of internet services, such as web browsing, emails, and certain apps such as Google Maps or WhatsApp.

To access the report, click here