Carriers lose appeal against roaming caps
Four of Europe’s largest telcos have failed to overturn EC caps on roaming rates, after the European Court of Justice today ruled the limits prevent consumer bill shock.
T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone and Telefonica argued the EC went beyond its remit by capping retail roaming prices alongside wholesale fees in 2007, and that the limits had a negative impact on their annual revenues.
However the court said the limits are valid and that the EC had a right to regulate market prices, WSJ.com reports.
The court also said the limits were necessary to protect consumers from high roaming charges, according to the BBC.
Roaming rates were capped at €49 cents for calls made, and €24 cents for inbound calls in June 2007, after reaching as much as €2.50 per minute in some cases before the limits came into force.
The EC plans to cut rates to around €35 cents for inbound calls and €11 cents outbound in 2011, and wants to eliminate the fees entirely by 2015.
It has also introduced caps on data roaming charges, which it claimed would end the “roaming rip off.”