The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Switzerland (SECO) commissioned Copenhagen Economics to investigate whether or not Swiss end-users pay excessive international roaming prices, and if that is the case, to provide insight into and advice on how the Swiss Authorities could react to these high prices in the light of the current EU proposal to regulate international roaming prices.
We found clear evidence of high international roaming prices for Swiss end-users compared to costs. On comparing prices between a Swiss and a French end-user both calling from France to Switzerland and France, we found that the Swiss end-user pays at least twice as much as the French end-user.
Entering into a bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the EU would lead to large savings for Swiss end-users. However, due to the lack of tools similar to the EU internal market provisions we find it unlikely that Switzerland will be able to honour its commitments to reduce international roaming wholesale prices implied by such an agreement. A strengthening of the sectoral regulator and a shorter time until regulatory decisions take effect should be considered. In the meantime, Swiss authorities should examine temporary regulation at the retail level. Other measures, such as transparency enhancements, could also lead to lower retail prices. For further information, please contact Christian Jervelund