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Europe to scrap mobile roaming charges

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 13 Sep 2013 22:24 User comments (5)

Europe to scrap mobile roaming charges The European Commission is plotting the death of mobile roaming charges through the 28-nation bloc by 2016.
Reforming the telecoms market across the European Union is high on the agenda of the European Commission as it seeks to stop the region from falling behind other parts of the world.

There are 28 members of the European Union (Croatia became the 28th member in July) and as things stand, there are 28 different telecoms markets too. Anyone who has travelled between countries in the EU has had the unpleasant experience of an inconsistent telecoms market, with price hikes being the norm as you go "roaming."

The European Union has made moves in the past to reduce the cost of roaming charges, but they are still considerably higher than mobile communications costs for customers in most EU countries. By 2016, the European Commission would like roaming charges to be consigned to history.

Killing off roaming charges is just one part of an ambitious plan to combine all 28 telecoms markets into one EU-wide telecoms market. Regulations would be harmonized across the union, which the commission argues will be of benefit to providers and customers alike.

As part of the reforms being put forward, consumers would also gain some new protections, such as the right to shorter contracts to stop long-term contracts limiting consumer choice, and also the right to exit a contract if the level of service is not as advertised.

"Further substantial progress towards a European single market for telecoms is essential for Europe's strategic interests and economic progress," said Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

"For the telecoms sector itself and for citizens who are frustrated that they do not have full and fair access to internet and mobile services."

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5 user comments

115.9.2013 10:28

How about no controls (regulations), no interference Isn't that the essence of a free society, a free people engaging in commerce free from interference. I bet that would be a lot cheaper for the business community and the consumer. My guess is the commissioner wont suggest that because then he wouldn't have a job with a ridiculous salary paid for by the taxpayer!

222.9.2013 9:53

Free commerce is all well and good, but when you see your roaming charges you start thinking maybe a leash is needed on all the telecom moneyhats.

322.9.2013 13:30

Excellent news.

422.9.2013 13:32

Originally posted by yellowsub:
How about no controls (regulations), no interference Isn't that the essence of a free society, a free people engaging in commerce free from interference. I bet that would be a lot cheaper for the business community and the consumer.
Er, maybe you haven't noticed but we saw huge roaming charges before any regulation or control.

That was your supposedly 'free from interference' commerce at work.

No thinks.

Originally posted by yellowsub:
My guess is the commissioner wont suggest that because then he wouldn't have a job with a ridiculous salary paid for by the taxpayer!
Except that without the EU we don't get decent minimums as our individual Govs are in hoc to big business & refuse to do much to protect consumers.
The only advances in consumer protection these days across Europe are from the EU.


530.9.2013 7:40

As one who travels frequently to Europe and maintains an sim card/account with a Belgian telecom for this reason, this issue desperately needs to be figured out. You can travel between France, Belgium and Germany in one day and you stuck paying insanely high international roaming charges. There is no easy or affordable alternative.

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