– 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
Last week, the European Parliament voted for new price reductions for roaming in the European Union. This was a big success for our campaign and will make using your mobile phone abroad a lot more affordable over the next two years.
If you are wondering what exactly the new rules mean for you, here is an overview over the most important changes (please note that prices don’t include VAT yet):
- Starting in July 2012, making calls will cost no more than 0,29 €/min. Until 2014, this will go down to 0,19 €/min.
- Receiving calls and sending SMS will cost 0,09 €/min from July 2012 and 0,06 €/min from July 2014.
- Internet usage will become cheaper for the first time in July 2012 and cost 0,70 €/MB. Until 2014, prices will go down to no more than 0,20 €/MB.
- From 2014 on, you will be enabled to choose another, cheaper operator when abroad – without having to change your phone number!
- When outside of the EU, you will be warned if your bill approaches 50€ of data usage.
- Operators will not be allowed to block traffic and apps like Skype or Messengers.
A word of caution
Europe’s millions of smartphone customers will continue to face rip-off data roaming prices unless Europe’s institutions take real action now.
- Europe’s politicians and institutions have a matter of weeks to take action over high data roaming prices or consumers risk a decade of rip-off prices simply for using their smartphones abroad.
- The European Parliament’s draft proposal will still leave data roaming charges at over 25x domestic prices.
- Europeans for Fair Roaming calls on Europe’s politicians to put an end to data roaming fear by voting for fair roaming prices that protect Europe’s smartphone customers, not punish them. Continue reading