EU to Scrap Mobile Roaming Charges By Next Year

Posted June 14, 2013 at 3:06pm by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 6826 views

The group of twenty seven European Commissioners have voted to push through proposals to scrap roaming fees for voice calls, texts, and internet access, reports The Telegraph.

The changes are said to be part of a broader effort to create a single European telecoms market and will come into force as soon as July 1st, 2014.

They expect the death of roaming charges to typically wipe 2pc off mobile operators’ revenues, after several years of tightening regulations designed to put an end to shockingly high bills for holiday makers and business travellers. They argue that operators will gain in the longer term by customers using their mobiles more abroad, particularly to access the internet.

The detailed proposals will be published in the next six weeks and could encourage consolidation of European network operators.

“There are around 100 operators in Europe and only four in the US,” the source said. “That’s not sustainable if we’re going to have a single market and investment. Europe has less 4G mobile broadband than Africa at the moment.”

“Consolidation is not the aim. The aim is a single market, but if it means we get fewer, stronger operators, that’s good.”

To appease mobile operators the package is said to offer provisions to simplify operating across the EU by synchronizing national sales of airwaves. This means that operators could do business across the bloc with authorization from just a single national regulator.

Read More [via 9to5Mac]


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McGiord - June 14, 2013 at 10:01pm
Hopefully they can get most countries to follow and have a real competitive market for providing real competitive services that the users can have access to faster data transfer speeds and coverage.
Jay - June 15, 2013 at 5:34pm
Wow, and how are they going to pay the bill for this infrastructure overhaul? lower ARPU from reduced roaming costs equals lower EBITDA. With same cost of operation it basically translate into less profits. Profits are reinvested in part in the network, without them, how the hell you want a carrier to expand. They (the EU) want to see less competitors, in other words, they want it to become more like in Australia, USA and Canada. This means, also, and they won't tell you, that the carriers' leases of the spectrum, will release their spectrum, and the governments can then cash again on the same spectrum by selling it to these "stronger, fitter" carriers. That's like renting your apartment again, before the 10 year lease is over, when you tenant left after prepaying the 10 year. And we are talking about billions of dollars for renting air. How convenient for them. Europe will be left with T-Mobile, Vodafone and a 3rd or 4th carrier. And you think they will be want to lower prices? Sure, maybe no more roaming, but you'll lose somewhere. All these changes will cost the carriers and you bet they will get it back from you somehow (less features or higher price plans). Even if they compete, they know a price war can be costly even if you have deep pockets. Just look at Wind last years investments and aggressive market penetrations tentatives. Wireless is unfortunately for us in this forum, just like any other markets: a business. There's nothing wrong in making profits. They need them to reinvest. It's gross margins that are wrong. The financial sector is worst. Making profits offering nothing. Big CEO severance packages and golden parachutes. Making the telcos public is not the answer neither. The answers are not simple neither. I'd let the market be lightly regulated and let economics play their song. In the end, consumers have choices. More options, also means more flexibility. The best offer for one, may not be the best for everyone. The reason they have not expended their 4G foot print is because they have not made enough to reinvest. It might not have been the case if the governments were not so interfering in the market.
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