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30.06.2010 10:30
E.U. Criticizes Mobile Phone Roaming Charges

  • © osde8info

Mobile phone operators in Europe are charging close to the highest roaming fees allowed, three years after price caps were first imposed, according to data released Tuesday by the European Commission.

The findings raise the likelihood that the commission will recommend next year that the European Union’s price caps be extended, rather than be allowed to expire.

“Three years since the rules came in, most operators propose retail prices that hover around the maximum legal caps,” the Union’s commissioner for telecommunications, Neelie Kroes, said in a statement. “More competition on the E.U. roaming market would provide better choice and even better rates to consumers.”

In an update on the effects of the retail price caps, which went into effect in July 2007, the Union said that they had lowered the cost of making a cross-border mobile roaming call by more than 70 percent since 2005, and the cost of a text message by 60 percent.

According to the commission, consumers in the 27-country bloc paid on average 38 euro cents, or 46 U.S. cents, per minute at the end of 2009 in roaming fees, on top of their usual calling charges, to make a call while outside their home countries, and 17 cents to receive a call.

That means mobile operators, which had opposed the price controls as intrusive, have kept rates close to the legal limit of 43 cents per minute for making a call, 19 cents to receive one, and 11 cents per SMS.

On Friday, the cap for making phone calls is to fall to 39 cents, and to 15 cents for receiving.

More info @nytimes

TAGS: EU | mobile | network | roaming 

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