Regulator warns Italian operators on EU roaming

31 JUL 2017

Italian communications regulator Agcom told Vodafone, Telecom Italia and Lycamobile they must comply with all aspects of EU roaming legislation, amid concerns the companies are not fully adhering to new rules.

In a statement, Agcom’s supervisory authority said although the country’s operators had shown “substantial respect” for the EU legislation, it believed some features were not being universally applied.

The regulator pointed to promotions from both Telecom Italia and Vodafone, which were limited to Italy and – as such – didn’t adhere to digital single market rules.

Its case against Lycamobile is based on a wider flouting of regulations. Agcom said the MVNO “does not apply the same conditions that you subscribe to at the national level to the use of roaming services.”

All three operators are required to inform Agcom of changes they plan to make to comply with EU law.

Roam like home
EU regulations were imposed on June 15 to abolish retail roaming charges across the economic zone, although individual operators can apply to their national regulator for permission to add a small surcharge or change their charging model in “exceptional circumstances”.

The negative impact of the law has been flagged by several operators in recent trading updates and is expected to begin to be felt on their bottom-lines during the third quarter of this year.

Despite industry concerns, ahead of the regulations coming into force, the European Commission released a statement warning operators against trying to circumvent regulations by applying roaming-only allowances or changing tariffs to extend home market-only services as a promotion or gift.

Last week, Telefonica’s UK unit – O2 UK – admitted it had temporarily throttled roaming speeds to ensure service availability for a greater number of customers following high roaming demand.

Author

Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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