The suggestion that Spain and Portugal might agree to eliminate roaming fees between the two states has triggered a call for the abolition of all roaming charges throughout EU countries.
The German VP of the European Parliament, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, says she would push through the industry committee of the European Parliament a demand to lift all roaming fees by the end of 2011. "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.
Any move in this direction should be welcomed by the European Commission given that it is seeking to encourage its 27 member states to do away with roaming charges altogether. The Commission said previously that it would look for an end to roaming fees between member states by 2015, and with current roaming laws in the EU set to expire in 2012, the Commission is aiming to propose new reforms by next spring.
With around 500 million mobile phone users in Europe using mature network technology, Mehrin said the extra charges for roaming services could no longer be justified, compared to nearly 20 years ago when the European mobile market and infrastructure were still immature.
Besides, Mehrin stated that there was little competition among mobile providers in Europe, which led to any price reduction and limits becoming unusual except for those ordered by the EU.
- see this Cellular News article