Roaming within Russia Might Disappear

18 February 2013 (09:19)

February 18, 2013. A draft bill on doing away with the notion of roaming within Russia was considered at the State Duma’s Information Policies, IT, & Communications Committee on February 14. The mobile carriers do not think it impossible that, should the bill be adopted, the mobile communication rates might go up.

The changes in the Communications Act are supposed to get rid of the payments charged for roaming within Russia. The carriers are expected to process the outside subscribers’ traffic through their own network, which will reduce the price of a phone call. Deputy Communications Minister Denis Sverdlov has already given the initiative his support.

‘Russia’s Mass Communications Ministry feels quite positive about the draft bill, despite the fact that the practical implementation of these changes is a technically complicated process,’ Sverdlov said.

According to one of the people behind the draft bill, Yaroslav Nilov, cancelling the roaming fees within Russia will not result in enhanced rates. On the other hand, the large mobile communications providers’ representatives claim that about 5% of Russian citizens travel around the country all the time, so the proposed changes will lead to a 5bn-ruble loss; this loss will be made up for through raising pay rates for all subscribers.

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