Will more expensive data rates for Spaniards force the end of roaming?
Having laid the foundations of roaming for operators, the European Union has established lower prices to be charged between them, which should have a direct impact on lower cost overruns for the use of the rate contracted by the user outside the country of origin. It is only the first step, and the horizon of this new legislation points to next summer with the removal of barriers consumption within Europe. The problem, however, is that it leaves negative balances between operators, due to the difference in price between the provision of the service at the national level, and the extra cost as imposed by Europe in the rest of the countries of the Union.
Compared to previous prices, which allowed 50 euros per gig as an additional charge between operators, and which had a direct impact on the consumer, now the European Union has established a maximum of 7.70 euros per gig. That is, the operators will charge each other a difference of 42.30 euros. A priori, this should represent a ‘saving’, but the negative balance among Internet service providers comes in that next step in which, in addition the prices applied to the consumer will be regulated, without difference between the country of origin –where the rate is contracted- and the country of destination –where it is consumed-. Those Additional 7.70 euros per gig consumed They will be paid by the operator to whom the network is lending in the destination country, but not by the consumer, and generally the difference price is higher than the rate contracted in the country of origin.
Operators have lower margins and even negative balances according to the new regulations, will this affect a higher ‘price per gig’?
According to the final prices for roaming between operators, the maximum price that can be applied to the consumer is 0.0085 euros per mega, then the margin for the operator of the country of origin, with which the rate has been contracted, is below two euros. And if we review the national mobile rates, we will find that the price per gig it is well above two euros. This is what we previously called as negative balance for operators, that in case the full rate is consumed outside the country of origin they would have to pay the destination operator more than what was paid by the customer.
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There are no statements in this regard by national operators, then at the moment it is unknown if the end of roaming will affect the price of our rates, but the trend on the part of the main mobile phone service providers has been to increase costs for the user, mainly in converged packets. With the new regulation at the European level, as evidenced by the previous calculations, there will be cases in which operators are expensive for certain customers, specifically those who consume their entire data franchise – or practically – outside the country of origin. In ours, the tourist flow could be beneficial, but it could not be enough to appease a possible rise in prices on data rates.