Russian cellular operators may give up national roaming

03 April 2017
Many of those who often have to travel to different corners of our vast country have more than once hoped for the abolition of national roaming, which increases the costs of cellular communication when leaving the home region. It seems that in the nearest time cellular operators will be able to make these hopes come true.Reports on readiness to refuse roaming should be presented at the meeting with FAS Russia by all cellular operators working in our country. Thus, the agency plans to cancel the national roaming in the third quarter of this year, and even earlier - in the second quarter - the network roaming. In words it may sound fine and be implemented by a click of fingers, but Vitaly Solonin - Head of Wireless Technologies Department of J'son & Partners Consulting is sure that giving up roaming may cause a number of difficulties for operators. He noted that the simplest step would be the abolition of intra-network roaming. We are talking about cases, when a subscriber registers in the networks of the same cellular operator while being in another region of Russia, he pays for mobile communication at increased tariffs. As for the national roaming, its cancellation will bring the biggest relief for TELE2 subscribers. The point is that this cellular operator's network does not yet cover all regions of Russia. Therefore, when using a TELE2 SIM card in areas where the network has not yet been built, subscribers automatically get into national roaming. Experts note that the main difficulty in implementing this idea is the problem of roaming in Crimea. The point is that K-Telecom, a private operator that has a contract with MTS, works on the peninsula. Its subscribers use communication services at the rates established for the Krasnodar Territory. Other cellular operators have not yet started working in Crimea. It is worth adding that even though it is obvious that cellular operators will lose a significant part of their profits if national roaming is cancelled, the FAS is confident that these changes will not lead to an increase in prices for mobile communications.