August 8, 2017 / 12:55 PM / 4 months ago

Russia investigates mobile operators over local roaming fees

MOSCOW, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Russia’s state competition regulator said it is investigating the country’s biggest mobile operators over their national roaming fees and called on Tuesday for them to be reduced.

Russian mobile operators charge their subscribers with extra fees on top of their normal tariff if they travel to a region inside the country where the operators do not have their own networks and provide services using a partner’s infrastructure.

The competition regulator FAS said that Megafon, VEON’s unit Vimpelcom, and T2 Mobile - a joint venture part-owned by Rostelecom and working under the Tele2 brand, had set and were maintaining monopoly prices for telecoms services in the national roaming.

The tariffs, FAS said in a statement on its website, “significantly exceed” the amount of the operators’ underlying costs and profits needed to provide the service.

FAS will consider the case on Sept. 26-29, the regulator said, adding it would insist on operators lowering prices.

MTS, Megafon, Vimpelcom and T2 Mobile declined to comment. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Dmitry Solovyov and Alexander Smith)

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