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European mobile phone roaming charges could be binned next year

The Local · 13 Nov 2010, 10:33

Published: 13 Nov 2010 10:33 GMT+01:00

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The pro-market Free Democrat said the European-wide ban on the sometimes exorbitant charges was well overdue. “It is now time to get rid of the roaming charges within the European Union, and establish a unitary domestic market for telecommunications services,” she told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper.

To this end, Koch-Mehrin said she had pushed through the demand for change in 2011 through the industry committee of the European Parliament – and it will now be considered by the executive body, the European Commission.

Roaming charges, which increase costs when a mobile phone user is in a different country from the one where they have their service contract, were introduced nearly 20 years ago, she said.

At that time, “the mobile phone networks were still in their infancy. Mobiles were still something exclusive for just a few users.”

Today, when there are around 500 million mobile phone users in Europe and the network technology has matured, this is no longer the case and the extra charges cannot be justified.

“Particularly not when the users own mobile phone provider also operates a network in other European countries,” said Koch-Mehrin.

Story continues below…

She also complained that there was not enough competition between mobile providers in Europe, saying that, “Price reduction and limits have so far only come to pass through EU orders.”


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:23 November 13, 2010 by nailerr
If there is a way to somehow vote for this lady I would like to know how.

As an experiment I let my phone use data while in Holland on occasion over 1 week, rare use. Nearly €60.

@El Jeffo - that was fast, sir.
15:24 November 13, 2010 by hot.snowboarder
that would be fantastic, and then perhaps the US based companies would join also. I spend an average of 108 euros per month of charges to call europe. They make so much money anyway on roaming charges
16:49 November 13, 2010 by mobiusro
@nailerr I think they might be referring to voice , not data, but still, it would be wonderful!
16:51 November 13, 2010 by catjones
Eliminate roaming charges and raise base rates or start charging for pillows. The Co's will always find a way.
16:09 November 16, 2010 by Robin Burton
The danger with this is that it is the smaller operators that will be hurt the most. By eliminating roaming charges you bring forward the spectre of less choice. Small operators lose the revenue from roaming which is disproportionally large for them by comparison with large operators such as those in Germany for example. This means that the roaming revenue is not there to offset the advantages of scale enjoyed by the larger operators. Perhaps Silvana is promoting the interests of the German mobile operators...

Silvana claims to be seeking greater competition. Her proposition, if they are crazy enough to try and implement it, will produce the opposite. This is simple campaigning for popular votes and nothing more. I think that it is time for our politicians to stop doing that and give some real leadership.
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