Irish regulator ComReg launched an investigation into mobile operator tariff changes to assess if they breach forthcoming EU roaming regulations.
In a statement, ComReg confirmed it asked one of the country’s operators to provide further information on proposed contractual changes which would see it define all you can eat data as a “service benefit” with a separate, capped, contracted data allowance.
The regulator said: “We are aware that a mobile operator has recently informed its customers of new contractual arrangements that purport to draw a distinction between a contractual data allowance and an unlimited all-you-can-eat-data ‘service benefit’.”
“We have sought information from the operator concerned so that we can assess whether the operator is in compliance with its existing obligations, as well as with the new roaming rules that will come into force on 15 June.”
Although the regulator didn’t name the operator involved, the statement follows a row sparked by 3 Ireland informing customers it intended to change the terms of its contracts and introduce a specific data roaming allowance of as little as 1GB on plans which currently offer unlimited data.
The operator’s announcement led to speculation in the Irish media other operators were looking at similar changes. It also raised the interest of the European Commission, which released a statement warning operators in Ireland against offering “selective roaming” to get around full compliance with new regulations.
Last week, the country’s minister for communications Denis Naughten urged Comreg to ensure Ireland’s operators were fully compliant with the new EU roaming regulations due to come into force on 15 June.
Until yesterday ComReg had remained silent on the issue, but in its statement clarified: “In order to avoid prejudging the outcome of compliance investigations, we generally do not comment on compliance matters until we have completed an investigation. However this should not be taken as implying a lack of concern on our part.”