Telecom Industry: Will There Be Any Additional Cost for Subscribers In 2021?

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Telecom Industry: Will There Be Any Additional Cost for Subscribers In 2021?

 Telecom Industry: Will There Be Any Additional Cost for Subscribers In 2021?

Summary

  • All the existing EU rules and regulations will remain in place and will be applicable.
  • The ban on roaming charges will continue even as decided in the free trade deal

The telecom industry of the UK is going through a period of intense change and disruption with the increasing regulation of Ofcom. More than 180,000 professionals work for this sector. The Brexit deal signed by the EU and UK is undoubtedly going to bring major changes in the sector, even though the discussions and proceedings regarding the telecom industry have always taken a front seat and been recognised as one of the high priority sectors during the negotiation.

All the telecom companies were earlier adhering to an EU regulatory framework, which was based on guidelines issued by the UK regulator Ofcom. However, new trade agreements and legislation for telecom industries have been formulated for the UK which will come into effect from 1 January.

Below are the core provisions of the agreement that will apply to businesses and citizens:

  • The provisions say that the existing levels of liberalisation in the UK and EU markets will remain in place, confirming leadership from both sides in this industry.
  • The agreement includes access to and use of telecoms networks, allocation of scarce resources, interconnection, fair and transparent regulation, and standard provisions on authorisations.
  • The provision on authorisation is the most liberalised authorisation regime that has been agreed in any free trade agreement. This will ensure that the telecom companies from both sides can deliver services without waiting for any prior authorisation, which will give the operators in the UK free and easy access to the EU telecoms markets.
  • Measures to encourage cooperation on the promotion of fair and transparent rates for international mobile roaming have been mentioned in the agreement.
  • The free trade deal also covers agreements on net neutrality, which meets the UK’s aims of guaranteeing commitments towards an open internet and safeguarding the users online.

Impact on the cost

UK minister Michael Gove advised the UK travellers to check with their mobile phone providers regarding roaming charges before heading towards any European country. The reason behind this is that the UK's trade deal with the EU does not rule out additional costs for movement in EU nations.

There are no plans of reintroducing roaming charges, biggest UK operators have clarified. However, things might not be as simple as it seems now. After the end of the transition period, virtually all EU rules and regulations, including one on mobile phone roaming will continue to be applicable from 1 January.

The deal says that no additional roaming charges will be levied, and this will encourage the operators on both sides to have transparent and reasonable roaming rates.

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