EC Tackles Roaming Charges

THE European Commission (EC) wants to scrap mobile phone roaming charges as part of an ambitious set of measures aimed at harmonizing regulations in the telecoms market across the 28 EU member states.

The reforms will need to be approved by European Union (EU) members and lawmakers before they are enacted. Once they become law, companies would need one authorization to operate in all EU countries, rather than the separate 28 authorizations that exist today in national markets.

Under the plan, companies would be banned from charging for incoming calls from July 2014 and all roaming charges would be scrapped by 2016. In addition, providers will have to charge customers the same prices for phone calls across the EU or allow them to switch providers for the period they are abroad, without changing their SIM card.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in an EC commission announcement the proposed reforms “were good for both customers and operators."  He added they were "essential for the telecoms sector itself and for citizens who are frustrated that they do not have full and fair access to internet and mobile services."