Published in Mobiles

EU scraps global roaming rules

Operators will have to come up with something better

EU Operators have been given the option to either work within new regulations that will cut roaming revenues by two thirds and force them to allow customers to choose other operators when they travel, or to scrap the charges and be free from red tape.

Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, who will announce full details of the new rules on tomorrow is likely to use a “carrot and stick” approach to persuade mobile operators, who have strongly opposed further cuts to roaming charges. Part of the problem is that 10 percent of their revenues and a higher proportion of profits come from charging an arm and a leg when users slip into another country.

Officials do not expect all operators to fall in line immediately, but believe under the new regime the economics of roaming charges under will make them unsustainable.

Neelie Kroes said: “We need business models based not on yesterday’s rip-offs, but on tomorrow’s digital opportunities: with revenues not from outrageous margins on roaming, but from new innovative services that people will want to pay for."

Europeans are tired of rip-off roaming prices. "My proposal would end them, making your mobile package valid across the EU, at no extra charge," she said.

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