Happy roamer after EU Roaming Regulation

A month has passed since the latest EU Roaming Regulation came into effect, which makes it a perfect time to ask just how successful has the regulation been? Having had feedback from several MNO partners in the run up to the EU Roaming Regulation and many different views about how it all went in recent weeks, UROS recaps on some of the key themes and issues faced by the mobile network operators we work with.

While some vendors have stated that they would expect to see a rise of up to 400% in the summer mid-season, it is likely to assume that the latest roaming regulation is not going to bring the kind of silent roamers we have seen in the past.

MNOs are reporting that:

  • Many subscribers are exploring how the regulation works.
  • Subscribers are checking to see if the roaming charges are really taking effect.
  • Some MNOs are dealing with subscriber confusion about international calling. In general, international calling is not part of the regulation and is a disappointment to some subscribers.
  • Subscribers are confused about what is included in the regulated prices.
  • Some MNO roaming partners are seeking strong wholesale discounts but also making roaming surcharges to the subscriber.
  • One MNO stated that since they implemented the regulation earlier this year, they have uncovered a rise in inbound traffic, only from the fact that many inbound roamers are no longer looking for Wi-Fi in hotels and restaurant, but just using their home package.

While some MNOs and MVNOs have fought the regulation for many years, this last year with the eradication of price caps leading to the abolition of roaming, has been the toughest test of them all. MNOs advised that it’s not a challenge to reduce costs, but rather to employ the regulation’s complex fair use policies and surcharges.

MNOs are finding it challenging to monitor the fair use policies on a subscriber level basis

MNOs main issues were with understanding and applying the fair use policies, especially where until now, they have never had to scrutinize the subscriber’s personal data and roaming plans in this level of detail. The trouble is that many MNOs do not have the visibility, the controls in their billing systems and the time for the analysis of users roaming consumption. So, it would appear many of the applications of fair use policies might be quite ad-hoc in nature. In addition, MNOs face challenges in delivering their regular workload of new roaming agreements for new services, such as LTE, owing to the complexity of projects related to the regulation.

UROS is supporting many MNOs in the delivery of global roaming with the resale of its Goodspeed device even within the EU region. It is an offer, which many corporate and consumer subscribers are still enjoying simply for the following reasons:

  • The charges are completely transparent, without fair use policies or surcharges.
  • It’s not only limited to the EU region. Europe has 50 states, with the EU covering only 28, or 31 including the EEA.
  • It doesn’t take data or voice out of their home package when they use it abroad, making it simple to understand their roaming specific costs.

Check out UROS’ latest apps and devices to see how in the age of regulation, it makes sense to explore a variety of ways of getting silent roamers active again.