ITU tool tests roaming tariffs

December 18th, 2015
A new ITU-T technical guide will assist regulators in their efforts to create an environment for fair and affordable tariffs for international mobile-roaming.

The new technical guide is accompanied by an online tool which provides a model to calculate the costs to operators of providing mobile-roaming voice services.

The new technical guide and companion online tool were developed in response to calls from ITU members for greater clarity on the degree to which the prices that consumers pay for roaming services are commensurate with their costs. Following a trial of a basic version of the online cost model, it was expanded to provide regulators with a more comprehensive tool to guide analyses of potential introductions of caps on mobile roaming tariffs.

“ITU has a unique public-private partnership of members,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “Our members are working together to ensure that operators see fair return from the investments that enable their customers to roam, and that end users pay a fair price for roaming services.”

“Mobile roaming continues to receive much attention at the national, regional and international level,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “The new ITU-T NRA technical guide and companion online tool will frame the issues at play in debates concerning mobile roaming, providing a common basis for ITU members to move these debates forward.”

The study of international mobile roaming is a key work stream in ITU’s standardization expert group responsible for economic and policy aspects of information and communication technologies (ICT), ITU-T Study Group 3.

IITU has made great efforts to provide all stakeholders with a neutral platform to debate the best course of action in regulatory guidance of mobile roaming services. The new technical guide and companion online tool have emerged from a study of roaming costs that has spanned more than two years in ITU-T Study Group 3. The group continues to work towards the agreement of a new international standard (ITU-T Recommendation) to outline regulatory interventions capable of guiding the market towards mobile roaming tariffs as low and fair as possible.

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