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EU official says high mobile roaming fees "outdated"

updated 03:40 pm EDT, Thu September 23, 2010

EU to minimize mobile roaming price gaps

The European Union's telecoms chief is calling the high roaming fees charged by European carriers an "outdated concept" and says work will continue on reducing them. According to a Thursday report, Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes blames the issue on a lack of competition.

Speaking at a European Telecommunications Network Operators Association conference, Kroes said the earlier caps proposed by predecessor Viviane Reding need to be looked at and reviewed in their entire context. In her past post as EU competition commissioner, Kroes fined companies billions of Euros for breaking antitrust rules.

Kroes said the ideal situation would involve price differences between voice, text and data based only on the actual cost of providing said services.
"I will assess the structural, economic and legal barriers to such a true single market and I am not afraid to propose the necessary measures to overcome these," she said.

She continued, saying the gap between domestic pricing and roaming should be near zero, and will try to accomplish this without resorting to posting another price barrier.

European carriers have often vocally objected to any limits on their roaming rates as they claim it costs more to route calls between countries, but they have been unsuccessful to date in justifying rate differences that have sometimes led to travelers being charged thousands of euros for what would have cost nothing extra at home.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -15

    Phew...

    Whatever would we do without a want-to-be-global government telling our private businesses what they can set their prices at. Hey btw, my Pizza place charges $3 a slice now. Pizza places being able to set their own prices is just an outdated concept. Please send some armed police around demand they lower their prices.

  1. repi8

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007

    +14

    Phew... not!

    The pizza analogy is unfortunately quite off. If your pizza place starts charging too much, you can go to a different pizza place. Now imagine this. As a citizen of New Yersey, you have to pick a Pizza chain and can only go to that Pizza chain each time you want to eat Pizza (so far not too bad as you can change Pizza chains now and then and go to the best and cheapest one). However every time you travel to Connecticut you can only go to a Pizza chain there that has a contract with your Pizza chain in New Jersey. Not only that, but they will charge you more for the pizza than you are charged either at home or that the people from Connecticut are charged for the same pizza in the same pizza place. And the price is not just $3 a slice but $30 a slice. And there is NO chance to get arround it as every other Pizza chain both in New Jersey and Connecticut has the same deal. I don't think you'd be that happy, and that is the situation with Mobile providers in EU.

    "Sure," you can say, "but you are going from one country to the other. The same is true for a USA citizen using mobile in England!" The problems is, that the point of EU is supposed to be a single market. So going from Italy to France should be the same as going from New York to New Hampshire. It costs you nothing in increased mobile costs in USA, it costs you a fortune in Europe.

  1. LeoNobilis

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2007

    +7

    comment title

    To MyRightEye:

    Why do rednecks think the world is limited to the United States of the RedneckLand? If you've got nothing sensible to scribble, then for goodness' sake, hold your pen! Had you had to resort once - just once - to using the European roaming services, you'd be singing a very different song here. Thus, put on your cowboy hat and go engage yourself with pestering fellow cowboys instead of working on my nerves.

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