The Big Four operators did not fulfill the FAS requirement to abolish national roaming in the Russian Federation

Now, Tele2 has also been added to the list of dominant telecom operators. Source:

Back in 2012, the Ministry of Communications of Russia proposed to cancel domestic roaming in the country. Gradually, this idea was penetrated by the legislators, and in 2016, in November, the abolition of national roaming was discussed at the official level with telecom operators. Then, on November 29, mobile operators promised to develop proposals for roaming-free tariffs, and regulators undertook to change the legislation so that roaming could be removed.

Unfortunately, the promises made by the operators were not fulfilled - this became clear even this spring. At the time, deputy head of FAS, Anatoly Golomolzin, stated that there are no changes that allow subscribers to use communication services at home tariffs when roaming. After that, the operators began to justify themselves that they were doing a lot to reduce the prices in roaming. But FAS did not like this, and in August of this year, anti-monopoly cases were initiated against VimpelCom (renders services under the Beeline brand), MTS, MegaFon, T2 Mobile (Tele2 brand).

The reason is the establishment and maintenance of monopoly high prices for communication services in national roaming. “The FAS Russia assessed the reasonableness of subscriber tariffs in national roaming, as well as the applicable inter-carrier roaming rates, according to the results of which it established that the base tariffs and tariffs with the use of options, as well as the inter-carrier roaming rates used significantly exceed the amount required for the production and sale of such goods and profits, "- said in a published statement of the FAS.

The meeting of the commission on the consideration of cases against the Big Four operators will be held at the end of September. FAS will hold a meeting on each of the telecoms operators in respect of whom the case has been initiated.

Promises not fulfilled

In addition, on August 13, the deadline by which the operators had to eliminate the mark-up on communication services in intranet roaming expired. To date, none of the companies have not done this, - writes "RBC".

In accordance with the requirements of Russian legislation, telecom operators are obliged to notify their subscribers of any changes in tariffs 10 days before their introduction. In early August, none of the companies sent their subscribers relevant notifications.

The abolition of national roaming, according to FAS, should be implemented as soon as possible. Representatives of the department have repeatedly stated that various tariffs for cellular services in the home region and travels in Russia are a direct violation of Section 6, Part 1 of Art. 10 of the Law "On Protection of Competition." This article prohibits companies that dominate the market from setting different prices for the same product without economic, technological and other types of justifications.

“Moving to another region of the country, being in the network of its operator, the subscriber receives completely different price conditions than in the home region, and the more expensive the subscriber’s tariff plan, the smaller the difference in tariffs for cellular services at home and on trips for such a subscriber” - said the agency.

As far as we know, companies are now trying on-line to get FAS advice on roaming cancellation. It is not clear to operators what kind of tariff should be applied to the subscriber in intranet roaming - the one that can be considered “home”, that is, which operates in the region where the user resides or the one that operates in the region where the subscriber is temporarily.

Operators are also trying to resolve other issues related to the cancellation of tariffs. For example, you need to understand how to deal with fraud. In the prescribed terms of the FAS, as already mentioned above, none of the companies have invested. Now the operators have appealed to the FAS with a request to change the time frame for the execution of the prescription - companies need more time.

It is not yet clear whether FAS will meet the companies that are being prosecuted and will postpone, or will act toughly. As for telecom operators, they, most likely, will still have to comply with the regulations of the regulator.


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