Addressing the High Price of International Mobile Roaming (IMR) in Southeast Asia

33 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2020

See all articles by J. Scott Marcus

J. Scott Marcus

Bruegel; European University Institute - Florence School of Regulation; The Japanese Institute of Global Communications (J.I. GLOCOM)

Robert Clarke

Clarke Mosby Mehta

Georgios Petropoulos

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Bruegel; Stanford University

Date Written: February 4, 2019

Abstract

International Mobile Roaming (IMR) is a service whereby a user who subscribes to mobile telecommunications services in one country is able to use his or her mobile device in other countries. For many years, governments around the world have expressed concerns that the price of IMR services seemed to be unreasonably high in comparison with the price of domestic telecommunications services, with demonstrable negative impact on societal welfare. These concerns have led to numerous regulatory proceedings, and to wholesale and retail IMR price controls in the European Union and also among the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Other regions have implemented various arrangements that seek to lower the cost of IMR, but in most cases it is too early to assess the results of those arrangements.
Our focus in this paper is on the ten Southeast Asian countries that comprise the regional organisation ASEAN: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. In the ASEAN region, high prices for roaming have been a concern for many years; however, concrete measures to address high prices have been rather limited.

This paper seeks (1) to provide guidance to regulatory authorities and network operators in the ASEAN region based on experience in other regions, especially Europe and the GCC; and (2) to provide context for these discussions based both on economic theory and on global experience.

Suggested Citation

Marcus, J. Scott and Clarke, Robert and Petropoulos, Georgios, Addressing the High Price of International Mobile Roaming (IMR) in Southeast Asia (February 4, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3529908 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3529908

J. Scott Marcus (Contact Author)

Bruegel ( email )

Rue de la Charité 33
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European University Institute - Florence School of Regulation ( email )

Florence
Italy

The Japanese Institute of Global Communications (J.I. GLOCOM) ( email )

Japan

Robert Clarke

Clarke Mosby Mehta ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.clarkemosby.com

Georgios Petropoulos

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

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United States

Bruegel ( email )

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Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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