No roaming charges in the Balkans

No roaming charges in the Balkans

Tirana, 30 September 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

Like EU citizens, citizens of the Balkan region will soon be able to communicate with each other without applying roaming charges.

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) has announced an incentive for a regional platform for roaming and a study for the legal and regulatory impact that this development will have.

RCC demands for roaming in the region could be harmonised with the EU even before accession.
RCC’s General Secretary, Goran Svilanovic said that the Regional Cooperation Council will work in orden to expand the geographical area of the Regional Roaming Agreement coverage.

Svilanovic said that RCC will be a big advocate for the coordination of roaming policies and for the integration of ICT in the agenda of regional “connection”.

Discussions on roaming are beng held in the two day forum which is taking place in Budva, Montenegro, dubbed “Regulation of the market of electronic communication”.

“Further to our long-standing support for regional cooperation in the ICT sphere as part of the South East Europe (SEE) 2020 Strategy, our efforts focus on delivering concrete contributions on two regional initiatives: on roaming and broadband. Roaming is the area where our economies could be harmonised with the EU even before accession, and RCC will support them in this,” said Svilanovi.

“RCC’s support towards the digital transformation and ICT connectivity of our region features prominently in our next mid-term strategy. As a result, continuous attention can be expected from us in the future as well. Our approach to the regional roaming initiative has focused on convening an inclusive Regional Roaming Platform and launching a legal, regulatory and market impact study of the Regional Roaming Agreement,” added Svilanovic.

55% of SEE business leaders believe eliminating mobile phone charges would be useful for their business

Contributing to the regional roaming agenda, the RCC addressed the voices echoed by more than half of the 1,800 regional business leaders, surveyed in RCC’s Balkan Barometer survey, who find the elimination of roaming charges as particularly useful for their businesses.

“I am very happy to report to you today that the draft of the Study, which is pioneering in many aspects, has been shared with the regional administrations and will soon be finalized, so that it has a truly applicative value. It introduces into the debate a number of forward-looking recommendations and entails a comprehensive overview of the institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks and roaming traffic data in the WB6 region”, – Svilanovic says.

Svilanovic concluded that the RCC will work to expand geographical coverage of the Regional Roaming Agreement and will remain a vocal advocate for the regional approach in coordinating roaming policies and for more prominent integration of ICT in the regional ‘connectivity’ agenda, using every opportunity to raise due awareness.