Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT)

BEREC consults on Permanent Roaming 

07 Dec 2023

3 min read

BEREC – the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications – has on the 27 November 2023 published a questionnaire calling for input on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications and Permanent Roaming[1].  The Questionnaire forms will serve as an input towards BEREC’s initiative set out in its Work Programme 2023[2] to draft a Report on M2M and Permanent Roaming in 2024.  BEREC’s Report aims to look at how the market for M2M communications and permanent roaming are evolving.  BEREC will look at potential obstacles for mobile operators to negotiate permanent roaming agreements (for M2M services), whether such roaming agreements allow for permanent roaming. In addition, the Report will investigate the price schemes that are applied.

Permanent roaming is critical for many cases of M2M/IoT because many devices remain connected to a network outside of their home network over an extended period.  Currently, permanent roaming is arguably mostly prevalent in the automotive industry where M2M communication is used to provide telematic services such as GPS tracking. Under the EU’s current roaming regulation however, permanent roaming is discouraged, with customers usually losing their right to ‘roam like home’ pricing after several months abroad. This has made it challenging for some operators to negotiate international roaming contracts for enterprise applications and devices that may remain off the home network for longer periods.

In its Wholesale Roaming Regulation Guidelines[3], BEREC pointed out that M2M communications are included in the scope of the Roaming Regulation.  The information that BEREC will collate may also be relevant for the opinion that is to be provided by BEREC to the European Commission for the review of the Roaming Regulation.

The questionnaire is mainly aimed at mobile operators and network access seekers. The survey is the first step for collecting input and will remain open until 26 January 2024. BEREC will also rely on its roaming data reports with data collected from operators. A draft report for public consultation should be ready in June 2024.

How can we be of assistance? The TMT team at GVZH has over 50 years’ experience in telecoms and over 25 years’ experience of negotiating roaming agreements. With our key contacts with international carriers across Europe and the MENA region we can assist in facilitating or negotiating your international roaming and termination agreements.