Israel’s MoC orders blocking of automatic international roaming

25 Jul 2012

Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has ordered mobile operators to block roaming on the networks of cellcos in neighbouring countries for those subscribers which have not specifically requested such a service. According to Globes Online, the MoC is introducing the new regulation with a view to ensuring that consumers do not find themselves being unwittingly billed for calls at international rates. The issue stems from the fact that handsets can roam automatically to infrastructure in a neighbouring country should there be a weaker signal from the domestic carrier; the report cites areas such as the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley, near the Jordanian border, as well as zones near the Egyptian border, as areas where the problem is most prevalent. It is understood that, while the foreign carrier usually sends a message to warn the user that the Israeli phone is operating on an overseas network, many subscribers may not notice this warning; the new legislation aims to add a further layer of protection for consumers. With the new regulations set to come in to effect within three months, Israeli minister of communications Moshe Kahlon was cited as saying: ‘The practice whereby consumers pay overseas rates for calls and surfing near the border must stop.’

Israel, Ministry of Communications