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.