In December 2019, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that from 1 July 2020 enhanced rules would come into force to ensure telecommunications companies better protect consumers from the "bill shock" which may result from international roaming charges.
Under the current rules, telecommunications companies which provide international roaming services are required to send customers notifications about mobile roaming charges to a device that can receive SMS messages. Consequently, consumers who travel with and use devices overseas that are not capable of receiving SMS messages (such as laptops and tablets) may not receive notification of international roaming charges.
The new rules - made under the Telecommunications Service Provider (International Mobile Roaming) Determination 2019 (the Determination) - will require telecommunications companies which provide international roaming services to send notifications via SMS and at least one other method of communication capable of being used on a device that does not support SMS, such as via e-mail or an app.
The new rules are designed to close current gaps in the system and ensure that consumers are better informed of international roaming charges, regardless of which device(s) they are using overseas.
The ACMA will enforce the new rules from 1 July 2020. Telecommunications companies that provide international roaming services will need to review their notification processes to ensure that notifications can be sent by an alternate means to SMS.