“National roaming will be launched with corporate offers first, for companies with a large number of branches and clients throughout Russia,” says Yuri Ammosov, Adviser to the Head of the Analytical Center.
In late June, it was announced that the European Commission would be ending mobile roaming charges throughout the European Union. The decision was taken by representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Council, who reached a preliminary agreement regarding the cancellation of charges in all 28 countries by June 2017. Might this also happen in Russia in the near future?
“Leading mobile operators already offer certain tariffs where roaming outside of a region, including national roaming (throughout Russia), is included in the subscription plan,” says Yuri Ammosov. “In the era of smartphones and high-speed mobile Internet, where operators are competing for voice services not only with each other, but also with P2P messengers (Skype, Viber etc.), introducing a decree on roaming may be unnecessary; a market solution to the problem might be found.”
In Mr. Ammosov’s opinion, it remains unclear for how many people in Russia roaming is crucial. Operators have not disclosed any details about roaming revenues or traffic. “Roaming is a service for travelers. However the vast majority of Russian residents rarely travel outside of their own locality. It is most likely that national roaming will come to corporate subscription plans first,” says the expert.