[tass] Russia’s Association of Regional Communications Operators said Tuesday that cancellation of nationwide cellular roaming tariffs could result in an average increase of 10% in prices for mobile services in the country.
The association commented on the latest bill prepared by the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. The bill envisages amending the law on communications by making prices for mobile calls from any location within Russia cost an equal amount under a single tariff plan. The party said on September 23 it planned to submit the bill to the Russian parliament.
The party’s suggestion doesn’t take into account the interests of regional mobile operators, which provide cellular services at low prices, the association said.
Also, the suggestion doesn’t take into account Russia’s cellular network structure and contradicts the licensing rules, the association said. Dozens of regional mobile operators do not have nationwide network coverage, so they have no means of legally providing services to roaming subscribers without charging them roaming tariffs, as these operators have to buy roaming traffic from federal operators, the association said. Operators that have only partial network coverage in Russia provide mobile services to more than 40 million subscribers, the association added. The total number of mobile subscribers in Russia, as measured by the number of valid SIM cards, amounted to 216.4 million as of late August, according to estimates from Advanced Communications and Media (AC&M).
The association comprises about 30 mobile and fixed-line operators in Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Regional cell cos see 10% price hike if nationwide roaming canceled