MOSCOW, 21 March (BelTA) – There are no technical reasons standing in the way of removing roaming charges between Belarus and Russia. However, the communications ministries of the two countries have yet to come up with a common stance on what “canceling roaming charges” means after all. The relevant statement was made by Belarusian Deputy Communications and Informatization Minister Natalya Gordiyenko at a session of the Information Policy Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Belarus and Russia on 21 March, BelTA has learned.
Participants of the session discussed progress in implementing the resolution the Supreme State Council passed on 30 June 2017 to cancel roaming charges in the Union State of Belarus and Russia.
Natalya Gordiyenko remarked that representatives of the Belarusian and Russian communications ministries had met repeatedly with representatives of mobile carriers to discuss these matters. Various solutions have been looked into, there are no technical hindrances standing in the way of dropping roaming charges, she stressed.
The Belarusian deputy communications and informatization minister said that the sides had worked out the relevant action plan and had submitted it for consideration of the High Level Group of the Union State Council of Ministers. The final stage provides for equalizing retail prices in August.
Natalya Gordiyenko remarked the sides have yet to agree on what cancelled roaming is. Russia believes that the home mobile carrier is supposed to drop roaming charges by offering economically justified prices for communication services to its subscribers in networks of other mobile carriers inside the Union State of Belarus and Russia initially. Making incoming calls free is the second step. Belarus believes that roaming charges should be dropped by introducing maximum retail prices for voice and text services for roaming subscribers simultaneously with unifying prices for international connections for roaming calls while using symmetric inter-operator rates without taking into account traffic exchange. Natalya Gordiyenko said the Belarusian side believes that making subscribers in the home network to offset the cost of calls of roaming subscribers is not a good idea.
As a result of the discussion members of the Information Policy Commission decided to hold another hearing in May to review progress in this field.