Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The arbitrariness of RLAH regulation

There is a certain level of arbitrariness to the RLAH (roam-like-at-home) regulation, taking effect 170615, looking at it from this perspective:

  • Pricing of mobile services is extremely complex, containing all sorts of elements.
  • Operators try to balance pricing with their own return, competitiveness, differentiation and fairness (giving the customer a sense of the-user-pays and usage-based or volume-based pricing).
The result is a high degree of opaqueness.

Now, the EC decided to act on the apparent unfairness of the cost of roaming, singling out one of many elements constituting the monthly bill. (Why not act against extortionist SMS pricing?) Operators will not worry. The have many levers to pull, not least raising fixed-line prices in case of integrated (fixed/mobile) operators.

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