Article 19 — Review
- By 29 November 2015, the Commission shall initiate a review of the wholesale roaming market with a view to assessing measures necessary to enable abolition of retail roaming surcharges by 15 June 2017. The Commission shall review, inter alia, the degree of competition in national wholesale markets, and in particular shall assess the level of wholesale costs incurred and wholesale charges applied, and the competitive situation of operators with limited geographic scope, including the effects of commercial agreements on competition as well as the ability of operators to take advantage of economies of scale. The Commission shall also assess the developments in competition in the retail roaming markets and any observable risks of distortion of competition and investment incentives in domestic and visited markets. In assessing measures necessary to enable the abolition of retail roaming surcharges, the Commission shall take into account the need to ensure that the visited network operators are able to recover all costs of providing regulated wholesale roaming services, including joint and common costs. The Commission shall also take into account the need to prevent permanent roaming or anomalous or abusive use of wholesale roaming access for purposes other than the provision of regulated roaming services to roaming providers’ customers while the latter are periodically travelling within the Union.
- By 15 June 2016, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the findings of the review referred to in paragraph 1.
That report shall be accompanied by an appropriate legislative proposal preceded by a public consultation, to amend the wholesale charges for regulated roaming services set out in this Regulation or to provide for another solution to address the issues identified at wholesale level with a view to abolishing retail roaming surcharges by 15 June 2017.
- In addition, the Commission shall, by 15 December 2018, submit to the European Parliament and to the Council an interim report summarising the effects of the abolition of retail roaming surcharges, taking into account any relevant BEREC report. The Commission shall subsequently, after consulting BEREC, submit biennial reports to the European Parliament and to the Council, accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal to amend the maximum wholesale charges for regulated roaming services laid down in this Regulation. The first such report shall be submitted by 15 December 2019.
Those biennial reports shall include, inter alia, an assessment of:
- the availability and quality of services, including those which are an alternative to regulated retail voice, SMS and data roaming services, in particular in the light of technological developments;
- the degree of competition in both the retail and wholesale roaming markets, in particular the competitive situation of small, independent or newly started operators, and MVNOs, including the competition effects of commercial agreements and the degree of interconnection between operators;
- the extent to which the implementation of the structural measures provided for in Articles 3 and 4, and, in particular, on the basis of the information provided by the national regulatory authorities, of the procedure for prior authorisation laid down in Article 3(6), has produced results in the development of competition in the internal market for regulated roaming services;
- the evolution of the retail tariff plans available;
- changes in data consumption patterns for both domestic and roaming services;
- the ability of home network operators to sustain their domestic charging model and the extent to which exceptional retail roaming surcharges have been authorised pursuant to Article 6c;
- the ability of visited network operators to recover the efficiently incurred costs of providing regulated wholesale roaming services;
- the impact of the application of fair use policies by operators in accordance with Article 6d, including the identification of any inconsistencies in the application and implementation of such fair use policies.
- In order to assess competitive developments in the Union-wide roaming markets, BEREC shall collect data regularly from national regulatory authorities on developments in retail and wholesale charges for regulated voice, SMS and data roaming services, including wholesale charges applied for balanced and unbalanced roaming traffic respectively. It shall also collect data on the wholesale roaming agreements not subject to the maximum wholesale roaming charges provided for in Articles 7, 9 or 12 and on the implementation of contractual measures at wholesale level aiming to prevent permanent roaming or anomalous or abusive use of wholesale roaming access for purposes other than the provision of regulated roaming services to roaming providers’ customers while the latter are periodically travelling within the Union.
Those data shall be notified to the Commission at least twice a year. The Commission shall make them public.
On the basis of data collected, BEREC shall report regularly on the evolution of pricing and consumption patterns in the Member States both for domestic and roaming services, the evolution of actual wholesale roaming rates for unbalanced traffic between providers of roaming services, and on the relationship between retail prices, wholesale charges and wholesale costs for roaming services. BEREC shall assess how closely those elements relate to each other.
BEREC shall also collect information annually from national regulatory authorities on transparency and comparability of different tariffs offered by operators to their customers. The Commission shall make those data and findings public.