Internet services not included in the abolition of roaming tariffs between Balkan countries – Latest News
The citizens of Kosovo during their stay in one of the six countries of the Western Balkans, from July 1 of this year, will not pay any additional payment for phone calls and messages received and sent, says Nazim Rahimi, Chairman of the Board of the Authority Regulatory of Electronic and Postal Communications (RAEPC). In terms of internet usage, affordable packages are expected.
Roaming tariffs refer to the services that citizens use in another country, from the center of the mobile telephony operator where they are registered.
“Roaming is about sound. No additional tariff will be applied if a citizen of the Republic of Kosovo, a customer of any of the telecommunications operators operating in Kosovo, calls from any operator operating in the Western Balkans. In other words, a citizen of the Republic of Kosovo, who has a Vala consumer card, from Albania will call Kosovo with the same package as he is in Kosovo “, said Rrahimi for Radio Free Europe.
He added that this also applies to other mobile operators in Kosovo.
According to the tariffs published on the website of Vala and Telecom of Kosovo, the customers of this company, for every minute of phone calls within the same operator, pay 13 cents, while sending messages costs 6 cents. Currently, additional fees for roaming services for calls made for 1 minute are 5 cents, while for a message (sms) 2 cents.
Roaming tariffs will be eliminated based on the roaming agreement between the countries of the Western Balkans (Kosovo, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia). This agreement was reached in April 2018, at the first digital summit held in Skopje. The implementation of this agreement is foreseen to be done in two phases.
Chickens: Operators will create attractive packages
Shqiprim Pula, former member of RAEPC board, said that from Thursday (July 1), mobile phone operators throughout the region, can present on the market two types of packages, packages that can be used by local users and roaming packages that can be used within the signatory countries of the roaming agreement. But, according to him, it is mandatory for operators to inform consumers about the content of these packages.
“For this, operators must undertake a kind of educational campaign. The customer must be informed in detail about the implementation of this agreement and about their rights that can use the packages created and offered by operators to their users. This should be mandatory because many consumers are not aware of the methodology that can be offered by operators and how to use it by them “, emphasizes Pula.
With the roaming agreement, Pula says that initially the citizen will win, especially the one who often moves from one place to another for various reasons.
Nazim Rrahimi from RAEPC emphasizes that mobile telephony operators will prepare attractive internet packages, at affordable prices.
“It is a matter for the operators what package they will prepare. But, we have information that they will prepare attractive packages, which will be of benefit to the citizens who will use them in the countries of the Western Balkans. It is about internet packages because the issue of telephony has been solved “, Rrahimi emphasizes.
RAEPC has already announced the adoption of the Regulation on the implementation of the fair use policy and the methodology for assessing the sustainability of roaming tariffs. This regulation states that “mobile telephony operators in the Republic of Kosovo are obliged to provide regulated retail roaming services at the price applied at the national level for its subscribers, who are usually residents or have stable connections” .
Exactly on July 1, 2021, when it is expected to eliminate tariffs for roaming services in the countries of the Western Balkans, talks will begin to reach the same agreement with the countries of the European Union, wrote earlier on Facebook, Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).
The first phase of implementation of the roaming agreement between the countries of the Western Balkans began in 2019, where there was a reduction of prices up to 80 percent, while the second phase, or the complete elimination of tariffs, has been announced that will applies on July 1, 2021.
The abolition of telecommunication tariffs for the countries of the Western Balkans has been demanded by the European Union, as a form of facilitation for communications between citizens. / REL