Broadband News

Telefonica argues that new roaming charge caps could be counter-productive

Telefonica in a European Parliament debate has claimed that excessively low retail caps on the cost roaming services for mobile voice, messaging and data across Europe could result in eroding profit margins to the extent that it would reduce competition between providers and dissuade new entrants from entering the market.

The comments covered in depth by David Meyer of ZDNet UK, arise because of proposals by MEP Angelika Niebler that would once more lower the wholesale and retail price caps, with retail price caps halving. The eventual goal is to reach a point where the cost of using data services in Europe is very close to what you pay in your home country.

One distinct danger of cutting roaming charges may be that providers will seek to maintain overall profit levels by increasing other charges, such as handset prices or what people pay in their home country. The savvy travel probably already has an unlocked phone (or dual sim phone), and carries a pre-pay sim for countries they visit a lot.

The rise of cloud based services may mean that more people who don't remember to switch off data roaming on their phone are caught out by high charges in the EU, or extortionate bills for use outside the EU. Though there appears to be some talk on introducing some form of charge cap globally for EU citizens. Cloud computing with its hands free approach to data usage, where a photo taken on one device will be uploaded and downloaded onto another device offers good data backup when traveling, but at the expense of extra data consumption.


Lot easier to just buy a local SIM, when I went to Spain I even got €5 free international.

  • otester
  • over 9 years ago

So this is the infamous free market eh, providing better and cheaper solutions to all.

  • Agent_c
  • over 9 years ago

All the mobile companies will do is increase roaming charges when traveling outside the EU. It's already ~£6 per MB now!!!

  • mitchja
  • over 9 years ago

This has to be one of the best moves the EU have done, and if they introduce a global roaming price cap for EU citizens even better.

  • Michael_Chare
  • over 9 years ago

That's a pretty desperate argument from Telefonica

  • madkingsoup
  • over 9 years ago

Telefonica own O2. If I take my O2 phone to Spain and actually use it I get charged ten timnes the price. Good job there is plenty of free hotel wifi available.

  • meldrew
  • over 9 years ago

"That's a pretty desperate argument from Telefonica"

Indeed and I think you'll find that Telefonica are going to be "pretty desperate" for any sort of liquidity at all. There is a very good chance they will go tits-up this year - along with Santander and other Spanish companies that borrowed too much for expansion.

  • rizla
  • over 9 years ago

Next year (2012) even :)

  • rizla
  • over 9 years ago

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