UK Ofcom warns Lycamobile over EU roaming surcharges

UK regulator Ofcom has issued a warning to Lycamobile UK for failing to comply with EU roaming regulations.

Following an own-initiative investigation opened in October 2017, Ofcom has provisionally concluded that there are reasonable grounds for believing that Lycamobile has contravened, and continues to contravene, EU roaming regulations. It has found that Lycamobile has applied surcharges for regulated roaming services and imposed data roaming limits that are lower than minimum levels permitted by the regulations.

Lycamobile now has the opportunity to respond to Ofcom’s concerns, with the regulator aiming to reach a final decision in the autumn.

UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has found “reasonable grounds for believing” that Lycamobile may have breached industry regulations for EU mobile roaming.

For those who came in late, the EU brought in global roaming to make sure that anyone using their phone in Europe would pay the same as they did when they were at home.  The telcos were furious and cynics did expect to see them try to work out ways to get around it.

Ofcom started an investigation in October into Lycamobile which has concluded that Lycamobile may have failed to correctly implement these rules since they were introduced.

LTTE member with Lyca adds in France

Ofcom’s Statement said between 15 June 2017 and 27 August 2017, customers that purchased a pre-paid bundle were only able to roam within the EEA using pay as you go (PAYG) credit, rather than being able to use their bundle allowance on a ‘roam like at home’ (RLAH) basis. From 28 August 2017 to present, customers that bought a non-roaming inclusive pre-paid bundle were only able to roam within the EEA using PAYG credit or by additionally purchasing a roaming inclusive pre-paid bundle.

It applied surcharges for regulated data roaming services that are higher than the maximum surcharge permitted by the regulations. Lycamobile’s charging policy for customers that roamed after reaching their data roaming limit and before reaching their domestic data allowance exceeded the limits set in Article 6e(1)(a).

Lycamobile has now been given an opportunity to put their side of the story, and if Ofcom isn’t satisfied, which is often the case once an investigation reaches this stage, then the operator could be forced to either make further changes. They may even be hit with a significant financial penalty. The regulator aims to reach a final decision by autumn 2018.

Norwegian Police raid LTTE’s ‘LycaMobil‘ as part of money laundering probe the Norwegian and Europe police suspect that the sale of Lycamobil calling cards has in fact been money laundering.

The network around Lycamobile has been investigated in several countries. Last week, Norwegian police also hit the network.

A 35-year-old was detained for two weeks with a letter and a visit.

The man is charged with gross money laundering.  Lycamobil has invested in Srilanka.