MVNOs and two of the largest operators in Finland lambasted the size of the wholesale data cap set to be imposed by the EU in June, arguing it offers unfair advantages to some operators.

Operators were responding to a European Commission (EC) announcement an agreement on the maximum wholesale roaming fees operators can charge each other for customers roaming within the EU had been reached.

Following the announcement, MVNO Europe – an association representing 13 virtual operators across the continent – released a statement arguing the caps were “much too high”. It said the policy unfairly discriminated against smaller providers and would lead to increased consumer prices.

It was not only MVNOs which felt the cap for data fees – set to begin at €7.70 per GB in June and gradually reduce to €2.50 per GB in 2022 – were set at an inappropriate level.

Finnish national newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reports operators Elisa and DNA believe the rate would unfairly disadvantage their companies, as the average Finnish tourist uses ten-times more data when roaming than an average tourist visiting the country – leaving them constantly in deficit.

In its statement, MVNO Europe VP Innocenzo Genna said: “European citizens expect the end of the roaming surcharges to happen without losing competitive tariffs and innovative offers: by contrast, with the present deal on wholesale caps, they will be heavily disappointed”.

The organisation added the “excessive wholesale roaming charges” would be detrimental to smaller providers and mean dominant mobile operators would drive the market.