Paris, 10 December 2004
The national wholesale market for international roaming on mobile telephone networks is one of the 18 markets identified as relevant by the European Commission in its recommendation of 11 February 2003. As with all the other relevant markets, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) will have to analyse this market on the national level.
On 10 December 2004, the European Regulators’ Group (ERG), composed of the national regulators of the 25 Member States—and France’s ART—and the European Commission decided to launch a joint project to analyse the 25 international roaming markets within the European Union.
Today, under this project, the regulators of Member States are simultaneously sending a joint questionnaire drafted by the ERG to national mobile operators.
A coordinated project at a European scale with the close involvement of the European Commission is required because of the multinational nature of international roaming. Indeed, wholesale international roaming services sold in a given country are purchased solely by operators established in other countries in order to offer international retail roaming services to their customers. As a result, retail and wholesale roaming markets are never found in the same country.
This European project which will run throughout 2005 aims to lead to the adoption of a common approach to international roaming (in particular as regards market definition and the designation of operators with significant market power) as well as a joint vision on regulatory measures which NRAs should impose if necessary.
It is important to emphasize that this joint project will complete but will not bind the analysis of this relevant market conducted by ART on the national level in accordance with the Post and Electronic Communications Code.
For information on the European Regulators Group, visit: http://www.erg.eu.int/