The recent announcement that the EU will phase out mobile roaming charges within member countries, and eliminate them entirely in June of 2017, comes as good news for both consumers and enterprises. While charges have fallen significantly in recent years, they still represent a significant spend item for large organizations; eliminating the charges will produce further savings and simplify plans.
While the legislation – which still needs EU approval – won’t take full effect for almost two years, enterprise buyers can act now to benefit from the new policy. Specifically, customers with contracts extending beyond 2017 should seek to amend existing contracts to eliminate roaming charges currently included in their agreements. Customers currently renegotiating contracts should ask for a waiver agreement and redefine terms of bundled agreements to eliminate roaming. It’s essential to be proactive and ensure that roaming charges are removed. Otherwise, roaming fees buried within agreements can slip through the cracks – resulting in customers continuing to pay charges after the June 2017 cut-off date.
In addition, some carriers are seeking to gain a competitive edge by proactively eliminating roaming charges globally. On several recent engagements, Alsbridge has successfully negotiated away international roaming charges on behalf of large multinational organizations.
Bottom line: regulatory changes and competitive pressure are combining to create a favorable negotiating environment that buyers can leverage to drive significant improvements in telecom agreements.