22nd European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS2011), Budapest, 18 - 21 September, 2011: Innovative ICT Applications - Emerging Regulatory, Economic and Policy Issues
National roaming is a measure that can be agreed commercially between operators to extend coverage or can be imposed or facilitated by governments as a means to increase competition amongst networks. It has been used with varying degrees of success in a range of countries, notably in the European Union. It has generally faced resistance from established operators, reluctant to assist prospective competitors and reduce their shares of the market. In some countries implementation has been so poor as to fail in the objectives. The absence of agreed procedures and performance indicators may have contributed to some of those failures. The costs of deploying third generation networks are causing some operators to look at more extensive agreements, sharing radio access networks, rather than national roaming. A further factor has been the lack of prospective entrants in mature markets, making national roaming less important than had been expected.