The UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has begun an investigation of Lycamobile in order to determine whether the operator breached industry regulations for EU mobile roaming, not least by levying a surcharge and applying overly strict data (3G, 4G) roaming limits.
All mobile network operators (MNO) in the United Kingdom have been subject, since June 2017, to the new EU roaming regulation (“Roam Like At Home“). In simple terms this means that anybody choosing to use their Mobile (SIM) to make calls, text or use data while roaming around the EU should be able to do so for the same price as they pay their UK operator (i.e. no extra roaming charges), although there are some caveats for data usage.
However, following consideration of information provided by Lycamobile in response to Ofcom’s initial enquiries, the regulator has decided to open a wider investigation into the operator.
The investigation will examine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that Lycamobile has failed to comply with the Regulations by:
* Levying a surcharge in addition to the domestic retail price for regulated roaming services and/or a general charge to enable the service to be used abroad;
* Levying surcharges for regulated roaming services used that are higher than the maximum surcharge allowed;
* In requiring SIM cards to be first used in the home country, applying as part of a fair use policy a control mechanism to prevent anomalous use of regulated roaming services based on an objective indicator not provided for by the Regulations; and/or
* Applying as part of a fair use policy data roaming limits that are lower than the minimum levels required.
Ofcom hopes to reach a provisional decision in this investigation by the end of April 2018.