Feeds

Mobile roaming charges to fall

Which is nice

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The cost of making mobile phone calls while abroad will fall, as operators create roaming-friendly tariffs and face up to regulatory pressure on overcharging.

Operator groups have started to formulate roaming-friendly tariffs, to bring about price transparency and lower prices for their roaming customers, according to Informa's new Global Mobile Roaming report.

The Vodafone Passport is an example of one such roaming tariff, which will apply when consumers roam within a particular operator group.

"Vodafone is the world's largest operator, both in terms of footprint and number of consumers, that definitely gives them an advantage," Michele Scanlon, telecoms consultant with Informa Telecoms & Media, said.

She said that Vodafone has gained a technological advantage, as its phones are pre-configured to select its partners in different countries. Other groups and alliances will come up with similar tariffs over the course of this year, but these alliances are inhibited by a lack of leadership, she said.

Informa estimates that there were 207 million roaming customers at the end of 2004 and projects that there will be 850 million roamers by 2010.

Currently, most roamers are contract users who make frequent calls from abroad. The report predicts that future growth will be driven by occasional roamers, such as holidaymakers or businesspeople who make occasional trips. Operators will encourage these occasional users by establishing virtual home environments.

Revenue growth will be challenged as competition puts a dent into roaming rates. Potential revenues will also be limited as consumers start to use VoIP across a wi-fi network as an alternative to mobile roaming.

The report comes hot on the heels of a report by the European Regulators Group (ERG) which has concluded that European operators charge too much for roaming. The ERG, a body of 32 European telecoms regulators, which includes ComReg, has also found that consumers are not given clear information about the cost of calling from abroad.

The findings could lead to price controls being imposed on roaming fees, which could lead to cheaper mobile calls for consumers. A new system, whereby consumers would be alerted on arrival in a foreign country as to which mobile network is the cheapest, is also under consideration.

Vodafone and O2 are being investigated by the European Commission over fees levied on foreign operators whose customers travel to Britain. The two operators could be fined up to 10 per cent of their annual group turnover if the Commission finds against them.

© ENN

Related stories

T-Mobile and Voda face monopoly abuse rap
EU rules against Voda / 02 Irish duopoly
Tapping the telecoms barometer
Skype VoIP threat to Euro telcos

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.