European Parliament to cap roaming charges?

A committee of the European Parliament is to examine a proposal today to cap the roaming charges that mobile phone companies slap on customers for using their phones in another jurisdiction. It will be considering a number of, as yet, unresolved questions. Sarah Laitner in the FT:

First, what should the price caps be? Several figures have been suggested, which broadly point to maximum fees of €0.50 a minute to make a call and €0.25 a minute to receive.

The industry instead calls for higher caps of €0.65 and €0.35 respectively.

It claims that some of the lower fees that have been put forward are 75 per cent under existing levels and could lead to operators applying tariffs below costs.

The second question is how exactly the caps should work. Should customers either receive the new regulated tariffs automatically, or have to request them?

Mobile phone groups claim that a one-size-fits-all approach could hit their flexibility to offer varied pricing packages. They say that automatically switching millions of customers to new tariffs will impose extra costs.

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  • SuperSoupy

    I think the vote is tomorrow and the parliament can amend any decision during next month’s plenary. Any improvement will be welcome but doubtless the business centric interests of the right leaning parliament will allow a level of latitude for industry to continuing shafting the consumer.

  • It would be a short term expedient if that actually is the case. Though I don’t have figures to hand, this excessive charging (in ome cases to use the same company’s networks) imposes a brake on cross border business, especially for the small and medium sized business.

  • SuperSoupy

    The vote on the Rubig report was today and it passed without the ‘opt-in’ amendment proposed by the EPP/ED (where Nicholson sits)

    However, the right can bring the ‘opt-in’ amendment back to be voted on in the plenary.

  • How likely is that SS? Since the Committee is already the size of a small council, and they backed it 45 MEPs to 3 against, it doesn’t look likely they could carry it in the plenary.

  • SuperSoupy

    It is looking good but the EPP/ED are 270 odd strong and the telecoms lobby is huge and well funded so if they get a right wing whip they may be inspired to try and motivate the other 100 odd they would need.

  • The Pict

    Funny how no NI politician had a problem with roamimg charges whereby people in Newry (just fo a specific case) and all along the border might get a stronger signal from across the border and be charged roaming fees for local calls.

    What did these guys do all day for their electorate?

  • The Pict

    How much does it cost to call frephone numbers?

    (Is the answer free? If not, why not?)