Advertisement

EU Commissioner 'to ban roaming fees by 2017'

Share this article

No more worrying about how much texting from the beach costs? Photo: DPA
09:01 CEST+02:00
European Digital Economy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said on Monday that he wants to abolish roaming fees for mobile phone users within the EU by 2017.

“From the second quarter of 2017, roaming fees in the EU will probably fall away,” the former minister-president of Baden-Württemberg told journalists in Bonn.

“The European Commission, the governments of the 28 member states and the European Parliament (EP) will probably agree on it very soon.”

Oettinger's announcement comes just over a month after the European Commission dropped plans to abolish roaming charges from 2016 after objections from telecoms companies in smaller member states.

But a new compromise had to be reached after consumers' organizations and the EP protested vociferously.

“If the end of roaming comes in 2017, companies have a year longer compared with the old plans to conform to the new rules," Oettinger said.

“And consumers will see yet more that they profit from the single market in telecoms. Roaming fees have already sunk a great deal.”

Wave of mergers expected

Oettinger believes that the EU must consolidate its telecoms market – pointing to the 280 telecoms companies across Europe compared with four in the US.

Story continues below…

“To become more competitive and consolidate their networks, many more companies will merge in the coming years.

“That should lead to the European telecoms industry playing a bigger role on the global stage. But competition has to be assured.”

The Commissioner hopes to arrange the European telecoms market such that, for example, people could use a self-driving car - “an important market for Germany's car manufacturers” - to travel seamlessly from one country to another.

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

How to get British healthcare no matter where you are

Navigating the health care system in another country can be tough, and even when it all works out, sometimes you just miss the comfort of the system back home. But there's a solution.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement