3 Ireland scrapped controversial plans to limit EU roaming to well below guideline levels and reclassify data allowances on its tariffs.
The Irish Independent reported the operator reversed the policy, announced in March, following a strongly worded warning from the European Commission (EC) and the opening of an investigation by Republic of Ireland regulator ComReg.
3 planned to change the terms of its all you can eat data bundle, which caps usage at 60GB per month, so part of the data allocation was classified as a service benefit rather than a core element of the contract.
The result would have been a cap of as little as 2GB on the amount of data able to be used free within the rest of the EU.
This figure falls short of the guildelines for retail charging of roaming laid out by the Body of European Regulators (BEREC) in March.
After 3 unveiled its plan, the EC released a statement warning operators not to try to circumvent new roaming regulations by offering selective roaming through treating domestic data as a gift or side benefit.
3 Ireland told the newspaper it would no longer segment data usage and would meet BEREC guidelines to offer a minimum of 5GB of data for customers paying €20 per month, which take effect on 15 June.
BEREC places fair usage limits on roaming services and allows operators to be excluded from elements of the new rules in “specific and exceptional circumstances,” where adhering fully would compromise the sustainability of the operator’s domestic business model.
In mid-May, Belgian MVNO Voo received permission from the country’s regulator BIPT to place a surcharge on EU roaming above a daily limit of 60 minutes, 60 SMS and 200MB of data.
The company’s communication manager Marie-Pierre Dinsart told Belgian newspaper Le Soir it was granted the exception as it didn’t receive money from roaming, but was subject to charges for it.