EU rules reduce price of mobile roaming, but problems remain

Commission to propose tougher measures next week

New European Union rules came into force on Friday, reducing the cost for consumers of using mobile phones abroad.

Mobile operators will not be allowed to charge more than €0.35 per minute for calls made and €0.11 per minute for calls received while abroad in the E.U. (excluding VAT).

The current E.U. Roaming Regulation, which expires in June 2012, was introduced in 2007 and has steadily reduced roaming prices. But according to the European Commission the rules have not solved the underlying problem of lack of competition in roaming services and prices remain stubbornly close to the retail caps. Nor does the regulation set maximum prices for downloading data for customers, although the wholesale prices for data roaming (the price which operators charge each other) is capped at €0.50 per megabyte.

Voice roaming prices within Europe are more than three times the level of domestic charges. For data roaming the consumer often pays less than €0.05 for downloading a megabyte of data at home, but this may turn into €2.60 per megabyte when downloading abroad.

"We have to tackle roaming problems at the root with a long-lasting structural approach," said Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

On Wednesday Kroes is due to announce proposals for updated roaming rules that would take effect July 1, 2012. The Commission has set a target for the difference between roaming and national telecoms tariffs to approach zero by 2015. The new proposals are expected to tackle the issue of competition and will include not only voice and text roaming, but also data roaming.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationtelecommunicationtelephony3geuropean commission

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?