Finnish cellcos seeking exemption from impending requirement to end roaming surcharges

7 Jun 2017

Finland’s mobile network operators (MNOs) – Elisa, Telia Finland and DNA Finland – have all reportedly asked to be exempted from having to do away with retail roaming surcharges as required by recent ruling by the European Parliament.

According to local press outlet YLE, the trio have lodged requests with the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) asking for a one-year exemption from having to eliminate EU-wide roaming charges, arguing the new system will mean lost revenues and increased prices for consumers that do not use their handsets outside of Finland. Finnish European MP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri was cited as saying that in order to be granted such an exemption, each operator will have to prove that implement the changes required would lead to a more than 3% drop in turnover. A decision regarding the matter is not expected until at least this middle of this month, however, with FICORA deputy-director Petri Makkonen noting that the regulator is unable to take any action until the rules come into effect.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in April 2017 the European Parliament confirmed that an informal deal on wholesale price caps had been endorsed, as a result of which the abolition of retail roaming surcharges is now expected from 15 June 2017. At that same date the European Commission (EC) confirmed plans to introduce caps on wholesale roaming prices, those being: EUR0.03 (USD0.03) per minute for voice calls, a 36% drop from the current level; EUR0.01 per text message (down 50%); and EUR7.7 per GB of data (down 85%). Looking further ahead, it was also confirmed that the cap for data will gradually decrease, to EUR2.5 per GB by 2022.