Technological Developments and Roaming

This study assesses technological and other market developments which could impact competition in wholesale and/or retail roaming markets over the medium term (5-10 years), with a view to understanding whether regulation of data, voice and SMS roaming will continue to be necessary going forwards.

Our analysis suggests that there does not seem to be a case for significant changes to the (retail or wholesale) rules applying to international roaming by travelers under the current review (without prejudice to review of maximum wholesale rates). However, the deployment of eSIM and evolution in over-the-top voice and messaging services should be monitored with a view to assessing their impact on competition in retail roaming markets in the medium term. Developments in 5G and IP-based mobile communications in the coming years could also affect the nature, variety and pricing of wholesale roaming products going forwards.

In the more immediate term, it may be helpful to review whether there is a need for more explicit rules or guidelines governing access requests for permanent roaming for the purposes of connectivity for M2M/IoT.

The study as well as an Executive Summary are available for download.

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