EU bats for law reducing mobile roaming rates

The European Commission is set to propose a law forcing mobile phone operators to cut charges customers pay while traveling abroad, a Dow Jones report said.


Quoting an EC official, the report said these roaming charges should not exceed rates for domestic calls made on a rival network.


The law would be one of the more aggressive pieces of legislation proposed by the present Commission, which took power at the end of 2004. If approved, it would slash consumers' mobile phone charges and take a bite out of operators' sales, the report said.


International roaming charges in Europe could run as high as 3 euros to 4 euros per minute, while domestic fees for cross-network calls generally cost roughly 0.05 euro to 0.10 euro per minute, the Commission official said.


The proposal, however, faced several political hurdles before it could come into force, the report said.


Former state-owned telecom operators such as Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom would likely be among the law's fiercest opponents, the report further said.