According to some industry analysts, the Commission’s proposed wholesale data roaming cap of €8.50 per gigabyte is higher than the domestic fully allocated retail price per gigabyte charged in 90 % of 4G data-only tariffs sold across the EU-28. They argue that if European consumers were to use, while roaming in the EU, just 60 % of their domestic gigabyte volume allowance, the wholesale data roaming cost (assuming it were €8.50 per gigabyte) would exceed half of the domestic monthly retail tariff fee in the majority of mobile data-only plans. For Nordic countries with a high consumption of mobile data, this may be particularly problematic. If wholesale charges are set too high, smaller operators could be forced to increase domestic prices and remove ‘unlimited mobile broadband’ offers from the market, so as to be able to recover their costs for providing roaming retail and wholesale services. This price-increase phenomenon is known as a ‘waterbed effect’.
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