EC unveils plan to cut roaming charges

As expected the European Commission outlined its proposal of new regulations that will force carriers to make it cheaper for wireless subscribers to make calls while abroad. The proposal calls for the following:

  • Curb excessively high wholesale prices charged between operators and any cost saving should be passed on to consumers
  • Eliminate all roaming charges for receiving calls while traveling in the EU
  • Charge mobile users the same price while abroad as they pay in their country of residence

The EC's Information Society and Media Commissioner Vivian Reding also challenged carriers' contentions that roaming charges have fallen in recent years by citing data that shows they vary from €0.20 to €13.05 for a four minute call in Europe. In the U.K., one unnamed carrier increased its roaming fees from €3.45 to €4.92 when its subscribers call the U.K. from inside the EU. The European carriers' trade group, the GSM Association, called the proposals "unnecessary" and warned that they "could do long-term damage" to the industry. As noted yesterday a majority of European carriers make their money from roaming.

For more on the EC's proposed roaming regulations:
- take a look at this article in The Register