MWC 2011: EU voices fury at roaming ‘rip-offs’

Roaming charges in the EU are just too high, according to a senior member of the European Commission's Digital Agenda team.

Roaming

EU citizens are being ripped off when it comes to roaming charges and the system needs to be fairer, according to a senior member of the European Commission.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress 2011, Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, said the cost of using a mobile abroad was simply too high.

Advertisement - Article continues below

She was talking after a European Commission survey showed nearly three-quarters of Europeans were worried about the cost of using their mobiles when traveling across the EU. The majority of respondents said they limited their roaming calls because of high charges.

Kroes explained how voice roaming prices within Europe are over three times the level of domestic charges, whilst the data roaming situation is "even grimmer."

"The consumer often pays less than five cents for downloading a MB of data at home, but this may turn into 2.60 per MB when the same consumer crosses an invisible border," she told delegates in Barcelona.

"I would love to be able to say to you today that the roaming market is competitive; that data roaming charges approach domestic prices; that bill shocks are a thing of the past; that prices for voice and SMS roaming are not clustered around the maximum levels permitted. Regrettably I cannot."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

She admitted data roaming charges had fallen significantly, but this was not being matched in lower retail prices.

"Incentives to compete on roaming prices are not as strong as the pressures on domestic prices. But that is not a justification for the current rip-offs," Kroes said.

The Digital Agenda has set a goal of cutting the difference between roaming and national prices to close to zero by 2015. Currently, the EU employs a capping policy to regulate how much providers can charge.

"It may be that no single approach will do the job on its own," she added.

"While I doubt that time may in itself solve our problems, it seems difficult to think that we can maintain price regulation forever."

Featured Resources

Successful digital transformations are future ready - now

Research findings identify key ingredients to complete your transformation journey

Download now

Cyber security for accountants

3 ways to protect yourself and your clients online

Download now

The future of database administrators in the era of the autonomous database

Autonomous databases are here. So who needs database administrators anymore?

Download now

The IT expert’s guide to AI and content management

Your guide to the biggest opportunities for IT teams when it comes to AI and content management

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/network-internet/wifi-hotspots/354777/how-the-fira-de-barcelona-is-bringing-wi-fi-6-to-some-of
wifi & hotspots

How the Fira de Barcelona is bringing Wi-Fi 6 to some of Europe's biggest events

14 Feb 2020
Visit/hardware/mobile/354715/lg-pulls-out-of-mwc-amid-coronavirus-fears
Mobile

LG pulls out of MWC amid coronavirus fears

5 Feb 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/34789/breaking-up-big-tech-will-cause-more-problems-than-it-solves-says-eu
Policy & legislation

Breaking up big tech 'will cause more problems', says EU

8 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355239/microsofts-patent-design-reveals-a-mobile-device-with-a-third-screen
Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
Visit/development/application-programming-interface-api/355192/apple-buys-dark-sky-weather-app-and-leaves
application programming interface (API)

Apple buys Dark Sky weather app and leaves Android users in the cold

1 Apr 2020
Visit/server-storage/servers/355254/a-critical-flaw-in-350000-microsoft-exchange-remains-unpatched
servers

A critical flaw in 350,000 Microsoft Exchange remains unpatched

7 Apr 2020