Review of the roaming regulation: Important provisions on 112


The European Commission published yesterday its draft review of the roaming regulation. The current roaming regulation, which ended roaming charges when crossing intra-EU borders in 2017 is set to expire in 2022. However, the new proposal aims to extend the end of the roaming charges by 10 years (until 2032) and addresses some issues related to electronic communications when roaming within the European Union, including on emergency communications. EENA welcomes the changes proposed which address several issues related to access to emergency services while roaming.

Free of charge access to emergency services and transmission of caller location information while roaming

The European Electronic Communications Code requires that all means of emergency communications (including those for end-users with disabilities) and that the transmission of caller location during an emergency communication is free of charge to both the caller and the PSAP. However, this was not always possible to ensure for communications from roaming end-users. The proposed changes in the roaming regulation intend to address these issues. Article 3, which is about the wholesale roaming agreements between mobile network operators suggests that such agreements should include all information needed to provide people with free of charge access to emergency communications and free of charge transmission of caller location information. For instance: if a communication with emergency services can be done by SMS, the agreements between mobile network operators will have to include information on how to zero-rate such numbers in case of roaming. Similarly, the mobile network operators will have to take measures between them to ensure a transmission of caller location information (both network-based and handset-derived) free of charge to the end-user.

Article 13 also prevents mobile network operators to levy each other any charge related to emergency communications while roaming.

Information on all means of access to emergency communications

Since 2009, mobile network operators have to provide information to roaming end-users on the existence of the European emergency number 112. This obligation is consolidated in Article 16 of the reviewed roaming regulation and extended so as to also include alternative means of access for people with disabilities.

Read the proposal HERE.

Next steps

The European Commission published yesterday a draft regulation. However, this proposal has yet to be approved by the European Parliament (representing European citizens) and the Council of the European Union (representing the Member States). Both institutions also have the possibility to amend.

For any further information, please contact Benoit Vivier, Public Affairs Manager, EENA at [email protected].

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