European Commission calls to 'eliminate roaming charges'


by CBR Staff Writer| 18 February 2014

End of roaming charges to add 300 million additional users for EU telecom firms

The Europen Commission has called for an end to roaming charges following a report revealing that around 25% of European citizens switch off their mobile devices when travelling aboard.

The latest report added that about 47% of the survey respondents did not use mobile internet while travelling, with 94% of them avoiding using services such as Facebook and Twitter when in other an EU country than their own.

European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes said that consumers are limiting their phone use in extreme ways and this makes no sense for the companies either.

"I am honestly shocked by these figures," Kroes said.

"It shows we have to finish the job and eliminate roaming charges.

The EC argues that such actions are damaging other businesses, including the app developers travel guides. Networks have also been losing out on revenue by not reducing their prices to a comfortable level.

"It's not just a fight between holiday-makers and telecoms companies.

"Millions of businesses face extra costs because of roaming, and companies like app makers lose revenue too.

"Roaming makes no sense in a single market - it's economic madness."

The survey added that only 10% of respondents use emails in the same way they do at home, with millions of them diverting to SMS rather than pay for making calls.

Last September, the EC revealed plans to completely scrap roaming charges by 2016, with the final proposals yet to be approved by the 28 EU members and European lawmakers prior to its commission.

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