Russian big four given two weeks to cease national roaming charges

18 Jul 2017

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has issued a warning to the ‘big four’ mobile network operators (MNOs) – MegaFon, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Beeline Russia (PJSC VimpelCom) and Tele2 Russia (T2 Mobile) – to cease charging users additional fees for using their mobile devices in Russian regions outside their home region (or ‘national roaming’ charges) within 14 days. In the notice posted on the FAS website yesterday (17 July, but with a 14 July date of issuance) the FAS stated that the MNOs’ voice, data and messaging tariff packages violated Paragraph 6 of Part 1 of Article 10 of the Law on Protection of Competition. The comptroller added that its analysis showed prices for telecommunications services (calls/SMS to numbers within and outside the region of the user’s current location, as well as mobile internet/data services) should not differ from prices charged in the user’s home region when travelling to other regions of the Federation, as the cost difference is ‘not technologically justified’.