Several Latvian mobile operators have only promoted those tariff plans covering the roaming service in connection with the changes to last year's roaming regulation. Consumers who do not travel abroad have limited information about the possibility of choosing cheaper rates, which means that they pay too much for services that they do not need, concluded by the Competition Council (CP).
Reportedly, on 15 June in the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) the additional roaming charges previously applied to consumers for calls, text messages and data transmission were canceled if these services were not used in a country other than that in which they reside. but in another EEA country. The purpose of the new regulation was to reduce the costs for consumers of mobile telephony services for roaming. Shortly before the abolition of this additional levy, Latvian mobile operators publicly announced price increases for tariff plans.
During the investigation, the CP requested information, including financial data, and conducted interviews with mobile operators about the investigations and calculations used to rate the new tariff plans. As regulatory changes have changed, consumer habits have changed and customers are increasingly using mobile services abroad, which is confirmed by both publicly available data and information provided by operators. As a result, the operators justify the change – although consumers no longer have to pay extra for roaming, companies still have relatively high costs for the provision of services to operators in other countries.
"The parallel operations of operators are also related to the structure of the oligopolistic market – since there are three major players on the market offering comparable services and their prices are publicly available, operators can easily follow the activities of their competitors. the scenarios of the commercial strategy have simulated and the pricing methods used by them have been different.If companies decide individually about price changes and without mutual reconciliation, this is not a violation, "explains KP spokesman Paula Wilsone.
Regarding the changes that occurred last year, KP received several complaints that residents can not select local rate plans that do not include roaming services. During the investigation, the Authority noted that individual operators promoted the most expensive roaming inclusive tariff plans, making it more difficult to access information on cheaper services. In line with the institution's objections to this practice, carriers offering roaming tariffs agreed to change their behavior and made available information on local tariffs more easily.
It has already been reported that all three of Latvia's largest mobile operators announced a tariff increase in the spring of 2017, based on a comprehensive range of services and the abolition of roaming in the European Union (EU), which entered into force on 15 June last year. trad.
The mobile operators Bite and Tele2 then informed that from 1 June 2017 the rates would be increased. In turn, the prices of the Latvian mobile phone for individual rates were set on 1 May last year.
As representatives of operators explained earlier in an informal conversation, this was not a price increase, but an increase in the range of services by increasing the supply of services. Admittedly, customers who had already signed contracts could not stay at the old rates.