13 April 2007

EU - Roaming - The bell tolls

(INFSO Newsroom)
The European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee has voted on the Commission's proposal of 12 May 2006 for an EU Regulation to reduce international mobile roaming charges by up to 70% by this summer. The ITRE Committee is the European Parliament's lead Committee on the EU Roaming regulation, in association with the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO). This vote supported all the main points of the Commission's proposal for an EU Roaming Regulation. EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding commented "Loudly, the bell is now tolling for international mobile roaming charges in Europe. Thanks to the tremendous work accomplished in the European Parliament over the past days, this last border in the EU's internal market, still visible for the moment on most consumers' mobile phone bill, is now bound to disappear very shortly. The best part of this is: in the view of the Parliament's Industry Committee, these low roaming tariffs should apply automatically to all customers unless they decide to opt for an even cheaper package offered by a mobile operator (opt out-system). This is the solution also favoured by the Commission, as it is easy to handle and avoids red tape both for consumers and for operators. It also means that mobile operators will now have to convince consumers that they offer an even better package than prescribed by the new EU roaming rules. This is a strong incentive for more competition among mobile operators. I also welcome the fact that the Industry Committee voted in favour of low price caps at wholesale level. This will help ensure that smaller mobile operators also will be able to compete on the European roaming market".