– EU offers deal to carriers: less regulation for no roaming –
On Wednesday, EU telecom commissioner Neelie Kroes presented a package of reforms to the telecom sector that could merge the fragmented European telecom markets into a single market by 2016. Under the new plan, which the EU calls a “carrot-and-stick” approach, operators will be expected to abolish roaming fees and offer plans covering all of Europe. In exchange, they would be freed from having to open their networks to competition. However, the user group “Europeans for Fair Roaming” calls for further price cuts in roaming, to no more than 10ct per min and MB.
In addition, the new proposal foresees other measure to allow carriers to operate across-borders, including easier authorisation, better coordination of network access and spectrum allocation, harmonised consumer rights and unified rules for net neutrality.
– New law to be presented on September 11 – first details leaked –
Tomorrow, EU telecom Commissioner Neelie Kroes will propose a new EU law to merge the fragmented European telecom markets into a single market by 2016. According to early leaks of the proposal, the EU is expected to ban roaming charges (additional charges for phone calls and internet use abroad) from 2016 on by mandating the creation of operator alliances. In addition, users will be enabled to choose a different operator when abroad if their home operator charges extra for roaming.
Just in July, the latest stage of the current EU roaming regulation came into force and cut prices for roaming (by more than 30% for using the internet abroad, for example). Further price cuts are already planned for July 2014. But the new law could bring prices down even more and even lead to operators offering pan-European service plans, according to http://www.fairroaming.org. Continue reading
– EU prepares plans for a common European telecom market by 2015 –
In a speech on Thursday, EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes called for a thorough reform of telecom regulations and the creation of a pan-European telecom market. The new reform proposals are expected to be agreed in April 2014 and should make it easier for operators to create European cross-border networks.
The EU already reduced the prices for using mobile phones and tablets abroad over the last years, thanks to the pressure of “Europeans for Fair Roaming”, parliamentarians and other groups. Commissioner Kroes now wants to strike one last time before the upcoming European elections next year and completely re-organise the European telecom market. But the reforms must truly benefit the consumers, warns the consumers’ group “Europeans for Fair Roaming”. Continue reading
The European citizens’ Initiative “Europeans for Fair Roaming” welcomes the new proposal of the European Parliament to lower roaming charges in Europe but remains committed that prices could be lower. The European Parliament today voted on amendments to the newest push by the EU against the high costs of using mobile phones abroad.
In their proposal, parliamentarians propose to lower costs for roaming calls to 15ct per minute and for internet access to 20ct per Megabyte (or 200€ per Gigabyte) until 2014. While those prices are still higher than what would have been appropriate according to the European telecom regulator BEREC, they are an improvement over older proposals by the European Commission. Continue reading