Unsurprisingly it concludes self regulation has failed...
EU oh sweet EU, you may change our pints to litres and measure the size of our carrots but we do love you when you announce plans like this…
Picking up where it left off with vastly reduced roaming call rates the new EU plan is to not just cut SMS roaming costs but effectively remove them completely according to our fave telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding.
“EU citizens should be free to text across borders without being ripped off,” she explained. “Roaming charges have already drained the wallets of mobile customers too much. It is not a good sign for the competitiveness of Europe’s mobile industry that it still hasn’t got the message that credible price reductions are needed to avoid regulation.”
It’s true her first warning hasn’t been heeded so what will be the cost of the telcos’ continued greed? An expected ruling looking to cap all EU roaming text messages to 12 euro cents which works out as roughly 10p – the standard cost of a text message inside the UK. Receiving a text messages while travelling inside the EU will also be free, something already available in many countries.
By contrast, the current average roaming SMS cost is 29 euro cents (23p) and can be as high as 63p.
As we’d expect from the heroic Ms Reding she is also on the case of another telecoms roaming evil stating “We will have to discuss in which way to address data roaming, which continues to be heavily overpriced.” An end must be put to “bill shocks” she concluded, but will pressure the industry on this for now rather than invoke law.
No official dates were given for action, but six to 12 months was the scope allowed to introduce roaming call cost cuts so don’t expect mobile telcos to get any longer this time around. Good.