EU is ready to cancel roaming fee
EU Commissioner for digital technologies Neelie Kroes made a statement on the need to abolish roaming in the near future. The statement is based on the recent study of this market by the European Agency for the Study of Public Opinion “Eurobarometer”.
According to the agency, 47% of respondents do not use mobile internet when traveling in EU countries. Also, only one out of 10 people use e-mail in the usual mode, while over a quarter of the travelers simply switch off their mobiles, reports Russia’s news agency ITAR-TASS.
“I am, frankly, shocked by these figures. They show that we must finish the job and eliminate the roaming fee. Consumers limit the use of their mobile phones, which is also pointless for the companies. This is not just a fight between the vacationers and the telcos. Roaming has no meaning in the single market, this is economic madness,” says the Commissioner.
Initiative to abolish roaming charges has been put forward by European Parliament’s Committee of Industry, Research and Energy in July 2013.
“This recommendation should complement existing in the EU since 30 June 2007 standards for consistent reduction of roaming prices,” says the expert of the European Commission Directorate-General for Information Technology.
Roaming should be canceled in Europe on July 1, 2017; the last lowering of roaming price “ceiling” is scheduled for July 1, 2014. From that date on, the price of outgoing calls to the European numbers may not exceed 0.19 euro, SMS — 0.06 euro, 1 megabyte of traffic — 0.20 euro.
Cancellation of roaming fee will affect only clients of European operators — that is, EU citizens. Mobile operators of countries outside the EU will continue to charge its subscribers a fee for roaming in Europe.