19 Dec 2017 09:50

Problem of roaming in Russia will be 90% resolved this year - regulator

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) - Roaming charges in Russia will be 90% eliminated this year already, and only the resolution of technical issues will run into next year, the head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), Igor Artemyev said on TV channel Rossiya 24.

"Ninety percent of issues concerning roaming will be resolved this year, I have no doubt, but some things, as we said, will be left for the first half [of 2018]. This will be, speaking in the language of chess, the endgame, when it will be necessary to just finish technical things, for operators' specialists to do something with these networks, relays, equipment," Artemyev said.

Vimpelcom announced the reduction of charges for roaming services in Crimea on December 14. Artemyev praised the company's actions. "I think that the rest will also do so. We have a good dialog with them," he said.

In the summer of 2017, the regulator ordered Russia's Big Four mobile providers - MegaFon , Vimpelcom , Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Tele2 - to change rates for mobile services for customers travelling within Russia and eliminate unjustified price differences.

FAS is now verifying information from providers about the elimination of intra-network roaming. The deadline for compliance with the order was December 15. The regulator will hold meetings on national roaming at the end of December.

Artemyev promised that there will not be any increase in prices for mobile services due to the elimination of roaming charges.