At the end of June 2013, the European Commission announced that from 1 July 2013, the European Union’s Roaming Regulation will lower the price caps for data downloads by 36%, making it much cheaper to use maps, watch videos, check e-mails and update social networks while travelling across the EU. Data roaming will now be up to 91% cheaper in 2013 compared to 2007. During this period the volume of the data roaming market has grown 630%. In addition, the EU has achieved retail price reductions across calls, SMS and data of over 80% since 2007.
The Roaming Regulation of 27 June 2007 has introduced a common approach in EU to ensuring that users of public mobile telephone networks when travelling within the Community do not pay excessive prices for Community-wide roaming services when making calls and receiving calls, thereby contributing to the smooth functioning of the internal market while achieving a high level of consumer protection, safeguarding competition between mobile operators and preserving both incentives for innovation and consumer choice. This Regulation lays down rules on the charges that may be levied by mobile operators for the provision of international roaming services for voice calls originating and terminating within the Community and applies both to charges levied between network operators at wholesale level and to charges levied by home providers at retail level. In addition this Regulation sets out rules aimed at increasing price transparency and improving the provision of information on charges to users of Community-wide roaming services.
Therefore, under the Roaming Regulation, National Regulatory Authorities are required to monitor the compliance with this Regulation within their territory, and supervise developments in wholesale and retail charges for the provision to roaming customers of voice and data communications services, including SMS and MMS.
In this regard, on 27 June 2013, the Italian National Communication Authority (herein after “Agcom”) published Resolution no. 371/13/CONS. With this Resolution, Agcom required Vodafone NV to take necessary measures to allow users of mobile communication services, which subscribed the tariff plans called “Vodafone no connection” , “Free You & Friends,” “Free You & Me” and “Zero Limits Smart,” no more available, to access to economic conditions, which comply with the Eurotariff currently applied in the European Union for the SMS roaming services.