5G, Net Neutrality and International Roaming dominate BEREC’s public debriefing

On 14 March 2018, in Brussels, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) held a public debriefing to give an overview of the outcomes of the 34th plenary meetings of 7-9 March 2018 in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. The BEREC Chair Johannes Gungl from RTR, the Austrian telecoms regulator, laid special emphasis on a study on 5G, the latest data on international roaming and a consultation paper regarding Net Neutrality.

5G Study
BEREC made 5G a strategic priority for the next three years as it aims to contribute to the removal of potential hurdles for a smooth deployment of 5G in Europe.  Late last year, BEREC commissioned a study on the implications of deployment and future business models. Read more about this here.

On 6 March, BEREC also organised a workshop on 5G and the Internet of Things, in order to better understand current and future network security issues.  This was organised by BEREC in cooperation with the European Agency for Network and Information Security.

Roam Like At Home (RLAH) and its contribution to the development of the single market
During the plenary meeting, BEREC adopted a report that presents data on the impact of RLAH on markets in terms of volumes, revenues and wholesale rates.

The report reveals a substantial increase in data volumes estimated around 435% from Quarter 3 of 2016 to Quarter 3 of 2017. Less significant is the increase of volumes in voice and SMS services. The report shows that the number of minutes of calls made per month per roaming customer increased from 8.8 minutes to 14.23 minutes in the aforementioned periods.

Evaluating Net Neutrality Rules
The plenary meeting served as a forum for best practice learning among the National Regulatory Authorities based on ongoing Net Neutrality cases.  BEREC is reaching out to all stakeholders through a public consultation aimed at collecting information for its input to the European Commission’s evaluation of the Net Neutrality Regulation.  Of special interest is how stakeholders view Net Neutrality rules in the context of 5G.  The public consultation shall run from 14 March to 25 April 2018 and contributions can be made through BEREC’s online public consultation platform (https://consultations.berec.europa.eu/en/page/berec).

Other Matters
BEREC recently published preliminary analysis on intra-EU calls and will continue with a more in-depth review on this matter. 

The BEREC Chair also reiterated the important role that National Regulatory Authorities have and should have on market shaping aspects of spectrum management hoping that this is acknowledged by the co-legislators that are currently discussing the European Electronic Communications Code. 

A full list of public documents adopted at the plenary meetings is available on the BEREC website. The next BEREC plenary meetings will be held in Gdańsk-Sopot, Poland on 13-15 June 2018.

The MCA is a member of the BEREC’s Board of Regulators established under Regulation (EC) No 1211 of 2009 and actively participates in BEREC’s plenary meetings.