Data roaming prices for mobile broadband could fall in line with domestic data prices from mobile operators by 2015 through demand alone according to Telefonica, the parent company of O2, who spoke to ZDNet at the Regulating Mobile Roaming Charges forum in Brussels. The EU Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, in charge of the Digital Agenda, pushed a goal forward at the end of last year to get mobile roaming data prices in Europe down to the level of national tariffs and is expected next month to propose new legislation to enable this.
"We think we can make more money by lowering our data prices. We [Telefonica] are doing tests in various countries, so it won't be the same in every country, but I am pretty certain that by 2015 data-roaming rates will be more or less the same as domestic rates.
I am not going to give you numbers, but what I am saying is yes, we are going to lower our prices by a lot in our operating businesses. It depends a bit on the outcome of consumer tests."Robert Mourik, (Director Regulatory Policy Europe) Telefonica
Presenting at the forum, Mourik showed that wholesale costs of roaming data were likely to fall by half this year to €0.16 per megabyte, and again to €0.08 per megabyte in 2012. Any fall in costs is obviously a bonus for users and if the market can adapt to this through competitive pressures alone, this is favourable to regulation which can sometimes lead to markets becoming more stagnant and less dynamic.