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ACM: Telecom providers should offer roaming abroad under the same terms as at home

21-01-2020

When customers use mobile services abroad within the European Union, telecom providers should offer such services under the same terms as at home. According to the ‘roam-like-at-home’ principle, providers should offer their customers 4G services wherever available. That is not always the case right now. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has given telecom providers four weeks to make sure they comply with the rules.

The basic principle of ‘roam-like-at-home’ is that customers can use the same services within the European Union just like they do at home, under the same terms. A study conducted by ACM has revealed that some telecom providers do not always comply with these rules.

Mobile broadband has become an indispensable part of society, including, for example, when traveling abroad. Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: ‘We’ve established that, when it comes to roaming within the European Union, some telecom providers offer a lower broadband service quality than in the Netherlands, whereas the same quality is actually available. As a result, it is not possible, for example, to watch Netflix in HD quality without streaming issues. We want providers to make sure they offer mobile broadband at the best quality possible, before the start of spring break. If 4G is available, customers that have 4G at home should be able to use it.’

Study

ACM has assessed the quality of roaming services abroad. Not all areas have 4G reception yet, in which case 3G or even 2G will be used. However, ACM’s study has also revealed that providers sometimes do not offer 4G, even though it is actually available. In those cases, Dutch customers do pay for 4G services, but are not able to use those services abroad.