REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the review of the roaming market
European Commission review of the EU mobile roaming market. Mobile roaming is using a mobile device abroad - for making calls, sending texts or using mobile data.
The EU regulates mobile roaming through the Roaming Regulation. It regulates the charges mobile network operators charge each other for providing services in other EU Member States. It regulates the charges mobile network operators can charge their customers. The central provision in the current Roaming Regulation, which came into effect in June 2017, states that consumers cannot be charged more for roaming in the EU than they would be in their home Member State (i.e. roaming is surcharge-free). The current regulation is known as Roam Like at Home or RLAH.
The report notes that until the introduction of RLAH many Europeans avoided, or curtailed, usage of their mobile phones when travelling outside of their home Member State in order to avoid incurring mobile roaming charges. It notes that the RLAH reform has allowed that situation to change and that the regulation has met its objective to unleash the demand for mobile consumption among travellers in the EU.
The report notes that the total volume of roaming data in the EU was multiplied by a factor of five in the first year of RLAH compared to the last year before RLAH. It continued to increase by a factor of two in the second year compared to the first year, resulting in a roughly 10-fold increase compared to the last year before RLAH. The report notes that the volume of roaming voice calls has been multiplied by two to three (depending on the quarter of the year) compared to prior to RLAH.