Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Green light to lower roaming tariffs in the EU

On 28 February, the European Parliament voted in favour of a compulsory reduction of cross-border mobile tariffs, to enable best tariffs for consumers while ensuring a sufficient margin between wholesale and retail prices to assure a level of competition that can bring down prices.

The parliamentarians propose  to lower costs for roaming calls to 15ct per minute and for internet access to 20ct per Megabyte (or 200€ per Gigabyte) until 2014. While those prices are still higher than what would have been appropriate according to the European telecom regulator BEREC, they are an improvement over older proposals by the European Commission.
The Industry committee also suggests requiring operators to offer retail roaming services separately from 1 March 2014, so that customers can choose an alternative roaming service supplier for foreign calls while retaining their national operator for domestic use and keeping their phone number.

Europeans for Fair Roaming initiative

The European citizens’ Initiative “Europeans for Fair Roaming” welcomes the new proposal of the European Parliament to lower roaming charges in Europe but remains committed that prices could be lower.

Bengt Beier, coordinator of the citizens’ initiative Europeans for Fair Roaming stated: “We welcome the newest decision by the European Parliament, even though they are not as courageous as we hoped. Our demands for fair roaming regulation – no more than 11ct per minute for making calls, free receiving of calls and a maximum price of 100€ per GB for internet were based on serious numbers as has now also been proven by BEREC. There is no reason why consumers should pay up to 200€ per GB for using their internet when abroad. The same service costs only a fraction of that at home.”

More about “Europeans for Fair Roaming” initiative
More information

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