EU-wide Roaming (Regulation)

The Commission proposes new price limits for calls, SMS and data communications services within a foreign EU Member State. These will be gradually reduced until 2014. Service providers are to receive access to networks of mobile network operators in other EU states to offer mobile communications services. Mobile users of roaming services may switch from their roaming provider to an alternative provider “at any moment”.


The high roaming prices are rooted not in market power but in the lack of price consciousness of mobile service users. Therefore, an ordoliberal justification for price limits does not exist. Moreover, the EU has no regulation competency in this field. The obligation to grant access to networks is an appropriate means to strengthen competition which also applies to the obligation of network operators to provide information when borders are passed.