Operators will develop options for reducing roaming prices

Photo: Sergey Maligawa / RIA Novosti

By March 2017, operators must submit to the Federal Antimonopoly service their offers on change of tariffs for communication services in roaming in the Crimea. The Agency wants to organize communication without roaming charges in the region, and then across the country

By mid-March, cellular operators must provide to the Federal Antimonopoly service (FAS) of their proposals for change of tariffs for communication services in roaming in the Crimea, told RBC representative of the press service of the FAS, citing the words of the Deputy head of the Department Anatoly golomolzina. “This is done with the talks, which held the operators under the terms of the inter-operator cooperation, — said Golomolzin. Were sent offer (from Federal to regional operators. — RBC) to reduce the tariffs for inter-operator level, and create conditions to reduce the final tariff”.

After the abolition of surcharges for roaming in the Crimea (is national roaming, where a subscriber is automatically connected to the local operator’s network when there is no connection from “home”) FAS expects to reduce the cost of services and national roaming (roaming in the network of one operator, but when moving a subscriber between regions). Their proposals for reducing the cost of tariffs for the whole country, the operators must transmit to the service in the second quarter of 2017.

Crimean rate

After the annexation of Crimea to Russia in early 2014 with the Peninsula gone all Ukrainian mobile operators. But the largest Russian players — MTS, MegaFon and VimpelCom could enter the local market, for fear of Western sanctions. In the end, services in the Crimea have the local company “K-Telecom” (brand Win Mobile), “CTC Telecom” (“Wave mobile”), “Krymtelekom”, “Sevtelecom” (“Newmobile”) and “International telecommunications”. Thus, operators ‘ subscribers from other regions of Russia to stay in Crimea, forced either to use the services of national roaming or buy a SIM card local operator. In the summer of 2016, the head of the Crimea Sergey Aksenov instructed the regional Minister of communications Dmitry Polonsky “cancel [national] roaming” in the Crimea until the end of the year.

As told RBC one of the participants of the market in late 2016 year, the FAS has formed a special working group with participation of representatives of major operators Ministry of communications, Ministry of economic development and Federal service. At the meetings discussed issues on the organization of telecommunications services in the Crimea and throughout Russia. The discussion of tariffs in the Crimea, the FAS has proposed that the two operators scenario. The mild scenario assumes that Federal operators negotiate a reciprocal reduction in prices in roaming agreements with the Crimean companies. Hard implies that the service is ready to consider a question on excitation of Affairs on violation of the Antimonopoly legislation in respect of cellular operators (Federal and regional) for unreasonably high prices.

All operators who participated in the meetings, agreed to the first scenario, noted the representative of the FAS. Decrease of roaming tariffs are planned across the country, but will begin with the Crimea and Sevastopol. In these regions, the FAS has proposed to expand the pilot area, which will act reasonable prices for visitors subscribers.

Resting on the promenade in Yalta

Photo: Artem Kreminskaya / RIA Novosti

In anticipation of austerity measures

The Federal operators have already started to work with the Crimean question of regulation of tariffs. As reported by RBC representative of “MegaFon”, the company carries on negotiations with “K-Telecom”. “However, “K-Telecom” did not accept [our] offer, which included a significant reduction in prices for national roaming. Instead of reducing it increased the cost of data transmission and virtually reduced the cost of voice calls”, — complains the representative of “MegaFon”. The rest of the Crimean operators, he said, was partly reduced prices. “But a significant decrease in prices could happen at lower rates of “K-Telecom”, said the representative of “MegaFon”. To a request to RBC Crimean operator did not answer.

Press-Secretary of “VimpelCom” Anna Aybasheva also said that the company is working closely with the Antimonopoly service on the subject of cost of communication services. “We believe the possibility of lower prices for our customers travelling across Russia. But for this it is essential to solve a series of paired questions,” she said. In particular, changes in national roaming due to the decision of a question with interconnect (system interconnect), the cost of which affects the pricing of roaming, she adds.

The General Director of “CTC Telecom” Dmitry Klimenko said that they are also trying to negotiate with the “big four” on inter-operator tariffs below their level has enabled the company to set lower prices for the Crimean subscribers to use the communication services in other regions of Russia. The representative of MTS declined to comment. The representative of “T2 RTC Holding” (Tele2) has failed to promptly respond to the request. To contact “Krastelecom, Sevtelecom” and “International telecommunications” has failed.

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