Roaming charges could be scrapped by 2016, according to EU

Jordan O'Brien
September 12, 2013

It’s no secret that the EU is trying to scrap roaming charges, but it has made its biggest stride towards that goal this week, revealing legislation which will abolish paying for incoming calls in the EU by July 2014, and completely removing roaming charges two years later.

According to the EU commissioner for digital affairs, Neelie Kroes, the legislation’s aim is to ensure that EU citizens pay the same phone costs no matter where they are in Europe.

Networks have warned however that such a move could force it to increase pricing domestically, with Telefonica warning that it would cost them ‚¬7bn ( £5.9bn) to implement.

Neelie Kroes remains unconvinced though, claiming that the company’s are using roaming charges as a “cash cow” to increase profits, and of no benefit to customers.

The 2016 date will be behind on the 2015 it previously had set a target for in 2010, but this could be a step in the right direction for consumers.

Companies such as O2 have previously been criticised for high data charges, especially outside of Europe. O2 was criticised last year for charging as much as £6 per megabyte in North America.

UK operator Three though has been steadily dropping its roaming charges, with the company launching a scheme to abolish all roaming charges in seven countries — including some outside the EU.

Whilst the EU’s plans are obviously restricted to just within Europe, one day we could live in a world without roaming charges.

Source: The Guardian

About the Author

Jordan O'Brien

Technology Journalist with an unhealthy obsession with trains and American TV. Attempts satire far too often. (+44) 020 7324 3502

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