EU's roaming reform proposals announced
12th July 2006
few months ago the European Commission (EC) announced
that it was going to investigate the cost of roaming
charges throughout the European Union. Despite pressure
on operators to reduce costs, some very high roaming
charges remain where users are charged up to €2.50 per
minute or even more for making or even receiving calls
in an EU country other than their own.
The EC's proposal is that roaming costs
should be capped. For example, the EC proposes that
the cost of receiving a call should be capped
at 16.5 euro cents per minute (see chart).
Also under the proposals, calling home
from aboard would cost a maximum of 49 cents per minute,
and making a local call would be capped at 33 euro cents
A good deal for consumers?
On the surface, the EC's proposals look
to be a good deal for consumers. Typically, roaming
charges will contribute around 10-15% to an operator's
profits, and if the capping takes place as proposed
then this would have a noticeable impact on the operator's
Of course, the actual cost to the network
itself varies. It's most likely that smaller operators
could bear the brunt of this as they lack the pan-European
scale of networks such as T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2/Telefonica
You can be reasonably certain that operators
will not stand by and let their profits slide, and any
proposed cap on roaming charges will most likely be
paid for by price hikes elsewhere.
You can read more about the EC's proposals
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