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No surprise to see EU roaming ended by MEP vote
Thursday 03 April 2014 17:11:39 by Andrew Ferguson

Brilliant news if you travel in Europe and wince when you see your mobile phone bill when you return home, the MEP's sitting in the European Parliament have passed legislation that will end roaming charges across the EU by December 2015.

The plan is that any calls, SMS or mobile broadband usage will be charged at the same price as if at home, or use up any inclusive allowances. Beyond this move there legislation also paves the way for removing other barriers to providers selling their mobile services across borders, which means that you might be able to shop around and buy a tariff sold in any one of the EU countries.

There has been warnings that the end of roaming charging (which has been lucrative for mobile operators) may lead to price rises across the board. Certainly given the levels of investment that 4G requires operators will not be wanting to see their profits shrink when trying to deploy new mobile technology and upgrade mast backhaul to provide more data connectivity. We do not expect a blunt price rise, but people may find the latest and great phones commanding more of a price premium with operators relying on our gadget addiction as we upgrade.

Some mobile operators such as EE offer inclusive roaming inside Europe on selected tariffs.

Once we know more about how things are going to work out, we will of course update our mobile broadband abroad guide, but for now perhaps the best advice if you are going on holiday is to enjoy your holiday and actually unplug from the Internet for a while.

Comments

Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
Good news, it is just a pity that Switzerland is not part of the EU. There has already been a very significant reduction in the charges for roaming without an increase in the cost of Sim only deals.
Posted by jrawle over 3 years ago
Isn't it also likely to mean that roaming outside the EU will become even more extortionate?
Posted by YaZiN over 3 years ago
We will be made to pay somehow. Still, the MP's won't give a damn, we pay for them.
Posted by ianeiloart over 3 years ago
OF course mobile companies will want to maintain their profits. But, the problem is that a few individuals get hit with massive charges that they're not expecting. People should not have to think about these things. It's a real barrier to doing business, or enjoying your holiday.

For example, this guy got hit with £70 charges before clearing passport control in Turkey. https://twitter.com/aral/status/451366083489198080

This can also hit people who live near national borders within the EU, as their phones hop carriers.

I've not heard the carriers complaining about this change.
Posted by Northwind over 3 years ago
Easyjet won't accept my Ryanair ticket for a flight to Pisa. Why should telecoms operators be forced to carry each other's traffic without additional remuneration?

Hopefully the operators will just disable the ability to roam to other company's networks. You go abroad and can't find an Orange network? Tough, you voted for it.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 3 years ago
Orange is T-Mobile is EE
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 3 years ago
There should be generic connections honoured by all carriers -- same applies to the rail networks throughout the EU.

The German rail system manages to integrate national and private lines -- the UK system is a hotchpotch!
Posted by wolfhound over 3 years ago
That's a strange analogy you are drawing there Northwind. Currently carriers charge roaming fees even when on their network, Easyjet et al don't charge you extra for getting on their flights in a different country. Also mobile carriers want you to communicate with others, thats one of the ways they make money so including calls to other networks is in their interest. Finally, to go back to your airline analogy, there are many examples of codeshare arrangements where a ticket bought with one airline IS valid on another.
Posted by flipdee over 3 years ago
This would be the European Commission trying to make the EU into one virtual "country".
If you attempt to abolish boundaries created by roaming charges then people will find it easier to forget the physical boundaries exist.
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