Europeans for Fair Roaming (www.fairroaming.org), the network of citizens and organisations fighting against unfairly high roaming charges in the European Union welcomes the new EU proposals for bringing down roaming charges over the next years but is convicted that the proposed price caps for data roaming at 90ct/MB to 50ct/MB and the cap for receiving calls at 10ct/minute are still too high.
Campaign coordinator Bengt Beier stated: “The new proposals by the European Commission are a great step forward. The European Commission has taken up many of the proposals we have been making, especially to strengthen market forces to bring down prices: the ability to decouple roaming services from domestic services and easier market access for small and virtual operators. But the proposed price caps for data roaming are still far too high to effectively save customers from ‘bill shocks’. At 90ct per MB, receiving a single e-mail with photos could still cost you up to 7€! We also believe that there should be a goal to make the receiving of calls free. We still hope that the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will co-operate to make sure the new rules are passed without delay and will ensure to improve the price caps for data roaming.”
Download the Press Release here (English version): Press Release 06 July 2011 or here (German Version): Pressemeldung 06 Juli 2011
Since 1 July, the latest round of mobile roaming price cuts for calls and SMS in the EU applies. From now on, mobile network operators are not allowed to take more than 35ct/min (+VAT) for making calls, 11ct/Min (+VAT) for receiving calls and 11ct/SMS (+VAT).
Europeans for Fair Roaming welcomes those changes which are a part of the current EU legislation on roaming but calls on all EU institutions to make sure prices will be lowered further. Prices can still be up to 10 times higher for making roaming calls than they are when you use your phone at home and you still have to pay if someone else calls you while you are roaming. Furthermore, there are still no price caps for data roaming (i.e. using the internet when abroad) which means travellers with internet-enabled smartphones can still ramp up expensive phone bills.
Another issue of concern is the fact that the current legislation will end next year and will have to be renewed until the end of 2011 to ensure customers remain protected against high roaming fees in the upcoming years.
With the beginning of summer and travelling time, travellers are warned over the high costs of using their mobile phones when abroad. When abroad, most mobile phone operators still charge roaming fees that are several times higher than what customers pay at home.
While prices for phone calls and SMS have been regulated within the European Union to save users from the worst bill shocks, the costs are still several times higher than for domestic use. Especially the costs for using data services such as surfing the web or sending e-mails are not yet subject to effective controls and can quickly get out of hand. This means that mobile phone users, especially those with modern smart phones or tablets can still get an unpleasant surprise after returning home. Continue reading