Roaming in the Western Balkans
Skopje, 05 April 2019 - The Director of the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEK) yesterday attended a meeting with regulators of the five Western Balkan countries - Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo, to discuss the necessary coordinated activities between regulators in order to make timely and ynchronized implementation of the Agreement on the abolition of roaming prices starting from July 1, 2021. This meeting was held within the Digital Summit that is being held these days in Belgrade, where the agreement for reduction of the prices of roaming services in the Western Balkans was signed.
Starting from July 1, 2021, it is planned to leave the prices for roaming services, i.e. to introduce Roaming Like At Home. This means that roaming service users in the country starting from July 1, 2021 will not pay higher prices than for domestic tariff plans for using roaming services when traveling to the other five countries signatories to this agreement, regardless of whether it is a case of using the Internet, voice or SMS. A roaming incoming call will be treated in the same way as the incoming call in the domestic market, i.e. without additional charges for the user. The use of roaming services under such benefits will be regulated only under certain policies for fair use and sustainability, which will be prescribed by the Agency for Electronic Communications. These policies for fair use and sustainability will be prescribed in order to eliminate opportunities for misuse, as well as to maintain sustainability in the financial operations of operators.
But citizens should not wait for the benefits of this agreement until July 1, 2021, because the first reduction in the prices of roaming services will begin on July 1, 2019. Starting from July 1, 2019, until June 30, 2021, when the prices for roaming services will disappear, a transitional or transit period will be introduced in which the operators will be able to charge only a certain additional fee for roaming services. This additional fee cannot be higher than about 3 denars (0.05 euros) for roaming outgoing calls. While the retail price for the incoming roaming calls will be around 2.5 denars in the first year starting from July 1, 2019, respectively about 1.5 denars in the second year starting from July 1, 2020.
Such an agreement will contribute to a reduction in roaming call prices by an average of 50-70% in the first year of its implementation compared to the current prices of regulated retail roaming calls with the four signatories to the above-mentioned agreement on reducing roaming charges, signed on September 29, 2014 in Budva, Montenegro. Read more, on AEK's website, here...